Media coverage about BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) has trended somewhat positive on Friday, according to Alpha One Sentiment. The research firm, a service of Accern, ranks the sentiment of news coverage by analyzing more than 20 million blog and news sources. Alpha One ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. BCE earned a news sentiment score of 0.17 on Alpha One’s scale. Alpha One also assigned news articles about the utilities provider an impact score of 45 out of 100, meaning that recent news coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

These are some of the news articles that may have effected Alpha One Sentiment’s scoring:

BCE (NYSE:BCE) traded down 0.24% during trading on Friday, hitting $45.34. 458,697 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. BCE has a 52-week low of $41.83 and a 52-week high of $49.03. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $44.15 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.20. The company has a market cap of $39.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.27 and a beta of 0.38.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.02. BCE had a return on equity of 23.11% and a net margin of 13.73%. The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.30 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.72 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that BCE will post $2.57 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Saturday, April 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 15th were issued a $0.5469 dividend. This represents a $2.19 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.81%. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. The ex-dividend date was Monday, March 13th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is 81.53%.

BCE has been the subject of several analyst reports. Citigroup Inc raised shares of BCE from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, April 6th. Desjardins raised shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 3rd. Canaccord Genuity cut shares of BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday, February 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, February 6th. Finally, Barclays PLC initiated coverage on shares of BCE in a research report on Tuesday, March 21st. They set an “overweight” rating and a $47.00 price objective on the stock. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. BCE currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.40.

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About BCE

BCE Inc is a communications company. The Company’s segments include Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media. Its Bell Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data communications products and services to its residential, small and medium-sized business and large enterprise customers across Canada.

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