Shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Wednesday . Approximately 4,701,743 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 460% from the previous session’s volume of 839,873 shares.The stock last traded at $48.43 and had previously closed at $48.26.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on BCE shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded BCE from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $60.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, July 8th. Desjardins downgraded BCE to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Scotiabank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of BCE in a research report on Friday, August 16th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of BCE in a research report on Monday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.73.

The company has a market capitalization of $43.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.73, a P/E/G ratio of 5.13 and a beta of 0.40. The business has a 50-day moving average of $46.63 and a 200-day moving average of $45.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 0.57 and a quick ratio of 0.53.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.93 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.90 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 19.15% and a net margin of 12.51%. BCE’s revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that BCE Inc. will post 2.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.601 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 13th. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.02%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 87.45%.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in BCE in the second quarter worth $25,000. Lindbrook Capital LLC increased its stake in BCE by 72.9% in the second quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 854 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $38,000 after purchasing an additional 360 shares during the period. Griffin Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in BCE in the second quarter worth $51,000. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. purchased a new stake in BCE in the second quarter worth $57,000. Finally, Private Capital Group LLC increased its stake in BCE by 78.6% in the second quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 2,040 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $84,000 after purchasing an additional 898 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 43.92% of the company’s stock.

BCE Company Profile (NYSE:BCE)

BCE Inc, a telecommunications and media company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. It operates in three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers wireless voice and data communications products and services, including 40 live and on-demand channels on smartphones and tablets; roaming services; push-to-talk, field service management, worker safety, and mobility management solutions; and asset management, smart buildings, smart cities, fleet management, and other Internet of Things services.

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