BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) – Cormark lifted their FY2018 earnings per share estimates for BCE in a note issued to investors on Friday. Cormark analyst D. Mcfadgen now anticipates that the utilities provider will post earnings per share of $2.70 for the year, up from their prior estimate of $2.65. Cormark also issued estimates for BCE’s FY2019 earnings at $2.75 EPS.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $5.96 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.96 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 19.85% and a net margin of 12.25%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.76 EPS.

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BCE from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 25th. Desjardins downgraded BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. National Bank Financial upgraded BCE from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Bank of America initiated coverage on BCE in a report on Tuesday, November 21st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $54.00 target price on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $56.00.

Shares of BCE (NYSE BCE) traded up $0.08 on Monday, hitting $44.56. The stock had a trading volume of 325,449 shares, compared to its average volume of 957,798. The firm has a market cap of $40,483.46, a P/E ratio of 18.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.68 and a beta of 0.29. BCE has a one year low of $42.44 and a one year high of $49.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a $0.601 dividend. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.39%. BCE’s payout ratio is presently 95.83%.

BCE announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $175.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the utilities provider to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of BCE in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $116,000. Quantbot Technologies LP bought a new stake in shares of BCE in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $190,000. Howland Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of BCE in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $202,000. WFG Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of BCE by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,503 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $203,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Koch Industries Inc. bought a new stake in shares of BCE in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $220,000. 44.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Earnings History and Estimates for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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