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Zacks Investment Research Upgrades BCE
Source: BCE Inc.




BCE, Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $52.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.30% 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.”

BCE has been the subject of a number of other reports. Barclays PLC upped their price target on BCE from $47.00 to $51.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. BidaskClub upgraded BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on 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 started coverage on BCE in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Five equities 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. BCE presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.83.

BCE (NYSE BCE) traded up 0.02% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $46.72. The stock had a trading volume of 622,047 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $47.35 and a 200-day moving average of $45.85. BCE has a 12-month low of $41.83 and a 12-month high of $48.27. The company has a market cap of $42.06 billion, a PE ratio of 17.52 and a beta of 0.35.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.65 billion. BCE had a net margin of 12.85% and a return on equity of 21.08%. BCE’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.94 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that BCE will post $2.66 EPS for the current year.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its stake in BCE by 0.7% during the first quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 2,951 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $131,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC lifted its stake in BCE by 0.5% during the second quarter. Camarda Financial Advisors LLC now owns 2,964 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $133,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. AT Bancorp acquired a new position in BCE during the second quarter worth $149,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its stake in BCE by 1,416.2% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,548 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $207,000 after purchasing an additional 3,314 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FNY Partners Fund LP acquired a new position in BCE during the first quarter worth $168,000. Institutional investors own 42.74% of the company’s stock.



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