Verity & Verity LLC Boosts Holdings in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE)

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Verity & Verity LLC raised its holdings in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 8.4% in the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 155,808 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 12,053 shares during the period. BCE accounts for approximately 1.6% of Verity & Verity LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest holding. Verity & Verity LLC’s holdings in BCE were worth $7,566,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of BCE during the 2nd quarter worth about $25,000. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 155.3% during the 3rd quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 697 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $33,000 after purchasing an additional 424 shares during the last quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of BCE by 72.9% during the 2nd quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC now owns 854 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $38,000 after purchasing an additional 360 shares during the last quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of BCE during the 2nd quarter worth about $51,000. Finally, Putnam FL Investment Management Co. acquired a new stake in shares of BCE during the 2nd quarter worth about $57,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 43.85% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BCE traded down $0.05 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $48.88. The company had a trading volume of 927,155 shares, compared to its average volume of 846,171. The business’s 50-day simple moving average is $47.86 and its 200-day simple moving average is $46.02. The company has a quick ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33. BCE Inc. has a 1-year low of $38.75 and a 1-year high of $49.58. The stock has a market cap of $43.78 billion, a PE ratio of 18.04, a P/E/G ratio of 5.17 and a beta of 0.39.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last released its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.02. BCE had a net margin of 12.51% and a return on equity of 19.15%. The business had revenue of $5.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.90 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.86 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts expect that BCE Inc. will post 2.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Investors of record on Monday, September 16th will be given a $0.601 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 13th. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.59. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.92%. BCE’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 87.82%.

Several research firms have issued reports on BCE. TD Securities raised their price target on shares of BCE from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. Scotiabank reissued a “buy” rating on shares of BCE in a research report on Friday, August 16th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of BCE in a research report on Monday, September 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of BCE from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $60.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 8th. Finally, Desjardins cut shares of BCE to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $59.33.

About BCE

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.

Further Reading: Sell-Side Analysts

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding BCE? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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