Camden National Bank lifted its stake in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 0.8% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 184,773 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,387 shares during the quarter. BCE comprises about 1.8% of Camden National Bank’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest holding. Camden National Bank’s holdings in BCE were worth $7,487,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of BCE by 7.4% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,204,188 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $89,248,000 after acquiring an additional 152,297 shares in the last quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp boosted its holdings in shares of BCE by 26.3% in the second quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp now owns 2,215,067 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $117,930,000 after acquiring an additional 461,800 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in shares of BCE by 18.1% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 40,710 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,648,000 after buying an additional 6,230 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its position in shares of BCE by 7.5% in the second quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 7,634,042 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $308,683,000 after buying an additional 531,998 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of BCE by 40.5% in the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 276,095 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $11,180,000 after buying an additional 79,569 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 42.52% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have weighed in on BCE. Barclays lowered their price target on BCE from $50.00 to $47.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of BCE in a research report on Friday, November 2nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of BCE from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, TD Securities reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of BCE in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. BCE has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $45.50.

BCE stock traded down $0.19 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $42.80. The stock had a trading volume of 1,289,954 shares, compared to its average volume of 948,481. The company has a market capitalization of $38.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.34, a P/E/G ratio of 4.64 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.57. BCE Inc. has a one year low of $38.75 and a one year high of $49.06.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.88 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.85 billion. BCE had a net margin of 12.13% and a return on equity of 18.73%. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.86 EPS. Analysts forecast that BCE Inc. will post 2.65 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 14th will be paid a $0.574 dividend. This represents a $2.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.36%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 13th. BCE’s payout ratio is currently 88.55%.

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BCE 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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