The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 5.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 5,022,707 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 240,739 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company owned about 0.56% of BCE worth $225,792,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of BCE during the second quarter valued at approximately $93,848,000. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of BCE by 13.5% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 13,936,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $627,607,000 after purchasing an additional 1,662,207 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in shares of BCE by 3,184.5% during the second quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,540,242 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $69,262,000 after purchasing an additional 1,493,348 shares in the last quarter. Bank of America Corp DE boosted its holdings in BCE by 25.9% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 6,384,703 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $282,651,000 after acquiring an additional 1,311,603 shares in the last quarter. Finally, OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp boosted its holdings in BCE by 113.9% in the second quarter. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp now owns 2,088,120 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $93,899,000 after acquiring an additional 1,111,892 shares in the last quarter. 42.74% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities research analysts have commented on BCE shares. BidaskClub raised BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. Zacks Investment Research raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday. Barclays PLC upped their price objective on BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on BCE from $62.00 to $60.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, September 27th. Finally, Argus initiated coverage on BCE in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. BCE presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.83.

Shares of BCE, Inc. (BCE) traded up 0.02% during trading on Friday, reaching $46.72. The company had a trading volume of 622,047 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $42.06 billion, a PE ratio of 17.52 and a beta of 0.35. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $47.35 and its 200-day moving average price is $45.85. BCE, Inc. has a 52 week low of $41.83 and a 52 week high of $48.27.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by ($0.02). BCE had a return on equity of 21.08% and a net margin of 12.85%. The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.94 earnings per share. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that BCE, Inc. will post $2.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.575 per share. This is a positive change from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 14th. BCE’s payout ratio is 93.44%.

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BCE Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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