Mawer Investment Management Ltd. increased its stake in shares of BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 28.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 2,417,270 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 541,437 shares during the period. BCE accounts for about 1.4% of Mawer Investment Management Ltd.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 27th largest position. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. owned approximately 0.27% of BCE worth $187,289,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. CIBC World Markets Inc. boosted its stake in BCE by 1.0% in the third quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 15,670,216 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $723,651,000 after buying an additional 157,166 shares during the last quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 7.7% in the third quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 10,218,694 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $472,173,000 after buying an additional 734,926 shares in the last quarter. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Letko Brosseau & Associates Inc. now owns 6,300,898 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $272,318,000 after buying an additional 121,915 shares in the last quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 5.2% in the third quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. now owns 5,831,585 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $268,850,000 after buying an additional 288,346 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thomaspartners Inc. boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 12.1% in the first quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 5,473,419 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $242,308,000 after buying an additional 589,070 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 44.23% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) opened at 44.99 on Friday. BCE, Inc. has a one year low of $41.83 and a one year high of $49.03. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $45.02 and a 200-day moving average of $44.35. The company has a market capitalization of $40.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.43 and a beta of 0.38.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The utilities provider reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.65 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.37 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 22.03% and a net margin of 13.36%. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.85 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that BCE, Inc. will post $2.54 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Saturday, July 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th will be issued a $0.5316 dividend. This represents a $2.13 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.73%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 13th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is currently 85.89%.

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A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Canaccord Genuity set a $60.00 price objective on shares of BCE and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 3rd. 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. BidaskClub raised shares of BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Citigroup Inc. raised shares of BCE from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $59.33.

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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