BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, October 4th. The firm currently has a $52.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 9.82% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “We are impressed with BCE's decision to invest $854 million, which will boost its fiber-optics network suite and generate higher revenues by bringing in customers. Buyout of Manitoba Telecom Services places BCE's arm, Bell Canada as one of the largest mobile provider in Manitoba. Bell Canada’s data center and cloud computing operations are also likely to get a boost with the integration of MTS’ existing data center in Winnipeg. Buyout of Q9 Networks boosts BCE's cloud suite. Deployment of Gigabit Fibe, 4G LTE mobile networks, upcoming 5G networks, IP phone services and post-paid businesses should help the company gain customers. On the flip side, BCE continues to struggle with stringent regulatory norms, losses in network access services lines, price competition, labor union issues, operational risks and construction delays. Over the past month, the stock price declined 1.2% as against the industry's 0.5% loss.”
Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on BCE. BidaskClub upgraded shares of BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on shares of 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 assumed coverage on shares of BCE in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $56.83.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) opened at 47.35 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $42.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.76 and a beta of 0.35. BCE has a 52-week low of $41.83 and a 52-week high of $48.27. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $47.35 and a 200 day moving average price of $45.99.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by ($0.02). BCE had a net margin of 12.85% and a return on equity of 21.08%. The business had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.65 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.94 earnings per share. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that BCE will post $2.68 earnings per share for the current year.
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Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp increased its holdings in shares of BCE by 113.9% in the 2nd quarter. OMERS ADMINISTRATION Corp now owns 2,088,120 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $93,899,000 after acquiring an additional 1,111,892 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in BCE by 3.9% in the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 3,125,798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $140,786,000 after buying an additional 118,048 shares during the period. Intact Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 20.6% in the 2nd quarter. Intact Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,180,098 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $68,916,000 after buying an additional 201,960 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 18.1% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 64,967 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,926,000 after buying an additional 9,950 shares during the period. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its stake in BCE by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 525,059 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $23,646,000 after buying an additional 16,335 shares during the period. 42.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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