Virtus ETF Advisers LLC bought a new stake in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm bought 58,734 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $2,671,000.
Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of BCE in the 2nd quarter valued at $25,000. Lindbrook Capital LLC boosted its holdings in shares of BCE by 72.9% in the 2nd quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 854 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after purchasing an additional 360 shares in the last quarter. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. acquired a new stake in shares of BCE in the 2nd quarter valued at $57,000. Parallel Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of BCE by 1,052.6% in the 1st quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,533 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $68,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trust Co. of Vermont boosted its holdings in shares of BCE by 29.8% in the 2nd quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 2,180 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $99,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. 43.92% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of brokerages have weighed in on BCE. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of BCE in a report on Monday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded BCE from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, July 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday. Scotiabank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of BCE in a research note on Friday, August 16th. Finally, Desjardins cut BCE to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. BCE currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $55.73.
BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. BCE had a return on equity of 19.15% and a net margin of 12.51%. The company had revenue of $5.93 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.90 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.86 EPS. BCE’s revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that BCE Inc. will post 2.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 16th will be paid a $0.601 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.94%. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. BCE’s dividend payout ratio is presently 87.45%.
BCE Inc, a telecommunications and media company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. It operates in three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers wireless voice and data communications products and services, including 40 live and on-demand channels on smartphones and tablets; roaming services; push-to-talk, field service management, worker safety, and mobility management solutions; and asset management, smart buildings, smart cities, fleet management, and other Internet of Things services.
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