Creative Planning Buys 818 Shares of BCE Inc. (BCE)

Creative Planning lifted its stake in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 4.5% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 19,097 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 818 shares during the period. Creative Planning’s holdings in BCE were worth $755,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its holdings in BCE by 1,649.6% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 43,739 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,772,000 after purchasing an additional 41,239 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in BCE by 10.3% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 857,524 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $34,721,000 after purchasing an additional 79,823 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. purchased a new position in BCE in the third quarter valued at $3,994,000. Virtu Financial LLC raised its stake in BCE by 153.2% in the fourth quarter. Virtu Financial LLC now owns 27,386 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,083,000 after buying an additional 16,572 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CWM LLC raised its stake in BCE by 3,678.0% in the third quarter. CWM LLC now owns 6,536 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $265,000 after buying an additional 6,363 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 42.13% of the company’s stock.

BCE stock opened at $43.05 on Thursday. BCE Inc. has a 1-year low of $38.75 and a 1-year high of $44.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a current ratio of 0.56. The firm has a market capitalization of $38.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.60 and a beta of 0.47.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.01. BCE had a return on equity of 18.87% and a net margin of 12.30%. The business had revenue of $6.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.19 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.82 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that BCE Inc. will post 2.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 15th will be given a dividend of $0.604 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $2.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.61%. This is a boost from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. BCE’s payout ratio is 83.39%.

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Echelon Wealth Partners restated a “hold” rating on shares of BCE in a research note on Friday, February 8th. TD Securities restated a “hold” rating on shares of BCE in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Barclays cut their price target on BCE from $50.00 to $47.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating on shares of BCE in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.50.

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BCE Company Profile

BCE Inc, a telecommunications and media company, provides wireless, wireline, Internet, and television (TV) services to residential, business, and wholesale customers in Canada. The company operates through three segments: Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline, and Bell Media. The Bell Wireless segment offers integrated digital wireless voice and data communications products and services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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