Stock analysts at Barclays PLC started coverage on shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage set an “overweight” rating and a $47.00 price target on the stock. Barclays PLC’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 9.02% from the company’s current price.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on BCE. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of BCE in a research report on Tuesday, December 20th. Desjardins raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 21st. Zacks Investment Research lowered BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 4th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lowered BCE from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $61.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Monday, January 9th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.40.

Analyst Recommendations for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

Shares of BCE (NYSE:BCE) opened at 43.11 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $37.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.47 and a beta of 0.38. BCE has a 12-month low of $41.83 and a 12-month high of $49.03. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $44.02 and a 200 day moving average of $44.51.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 2nd. The company reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.17. BCE had a return on equity of 23.11% and a net margin of 13.73%. The company had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.30 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.72 earnings per share. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that BCE will post $2.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, April 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 15th will be given a $0.5469 dividend. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. This represents a $2.19 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.07%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, March 13th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is presently 81.53%.

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A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BCE. Hilton Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in BCE during the third quarter worth approximately $332,000. Creative Planning raised its stake in BCE by 27.6% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 13,034 shares of the company’s stock worth $602,000 after buying an additional 2,822 shares during the last quarter. FCM Investments TX raised its stake in BCE by 0.9% in the third quarter. FCM Investments TX now owns 32,302 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,492,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC bought a new stake in BCE during the third quarter worth approximately $394,000. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its stake in BCE by 3.3% in the third quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 205,141 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,473,000 after buying an additional 6,596 shares during the last quarter. 43.98% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About BCE

BCE Inc is a communications company. The Company provides a range of broadband communications and content services to consumer, residential, business and government customers in Canada. The Company offers various services under the Bell and Bell Aliant brands, such as fiber-based Internet protocol television (IPTV) and high-speed Internet services, home phone and business network and communications services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BCE

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