Maple Capital Management Inc. trimmed its holdings in BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 12.7% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 9,362 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,366 shares during the quarter. Maple Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in BCE were worth $370,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Brinker Capital Inc. boosted its position in shares of BCE by 10.1% during the 4th quarter. Brinker Capital Inc. now owns 17,470 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $695,000 after purchasing an additional 1,599 shares in the last quarter. Barclays PLC raised its stake in shares of BCE by 40.6% during the 4th quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 368,284 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $14,558,000 after buying an additional 106,346 shares during the last quarter. Aviance Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of BCE by 3.3% during the 4th quarter. Aviance Capital Management LLC now owns 77,398 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,060,000 after buying an additional 2,504 shares during the last quarter. Semmax Financial Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of BCE during the 4th quarter worth $426,000. Finally, American International Group Inc. acquired a new position in shares of BCE during the 4th quarter worth $1,653,000. 44.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on BCE. Zacks Investment Research downgraded BCE from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, February 4th. Argus raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Finally, National Bank Financial downgraded BCE from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Friday, January 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.33.

NYSE:BCE opened at $44.17 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $39.68 billion, a PE ratio of 16.30, a PEG ratio of 4.78 and a beta of 0.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 0.56 and a quick ratio of 0.51. BCE Inc. has a 52-week low of $38.75 and a 52-week high of $44.86.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The utilities provider reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.66 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $6.22 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.19 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 18.87% and a net margin of 12.30%. The business’s revenue was up 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.82 EPS. On average, analysts expect that BCE Inc. will post 2.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Investors of record on Friday, March 15th will be paid a $0.604 dividend. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 14th. This represents a $2.42 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.47%. BCE’s payout ratio is presently 83.39%.

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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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