Sandy Spring Bank Decreases Holdings in BCE Inc. (BCE)

Sandy Spring Bank lessened its stake in shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) by 5.5% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 95,317 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 5,505 shares during the quarter. Sandy Spring Bank’s holdings in BCE were worth $4,576,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. APG Asset Management N.V. increased its position in shares of BCE by 123.4% during the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,492,016 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $209,976,000 after acquiring an additional 2,481,400 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia increased its position in shares of BCE by 16.1% during the second quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 6,454,704 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $290,718,000 after acquiring an additional 897,173 shares during the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of BCE by 24.8% during the fourth quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 3,471,341 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $166,662,000 after acquiring an additional 689,362 shares during the last quarter. Highstreet Asset Management Inc. increased its position in shares of BCE by 96.0% during the fourth quarter. Highstreet Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,390,670 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $66,801,000 after acquiring an additional 681,261 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Marathon Asset Management LLP purchased a new stake in shares of BCE during the third quarter worth about $25,802,000. Institutional investors own 44.62% of the company’s stock.

Shares of BCE Inc. (NYSE BCE) traded up $0.28 during trading on Monday, reaching $44.67. The company had a trading volume of 201,222 shares, compared to its average volume of 960,810. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 0.39 and a current ratio of 0.43. The company has a market capitalization of $39,996.91, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.59, a P/E/G ratio of 4.63 and a beta of 0.29. BCE Inc. has a 1 year low of $42.44 and a 1 year high of $49.06.

BCE (NYSE:BCE) (TSE:BCE) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.96 billion. BCE had a return on equity of 19.85% and a net margin of 12.25%. BCE’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.76 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that BCE Inc. will post 2.74 EPS for the current year.

BCE declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, February 8th that authorizes the company to repurchase $175.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the utilities provider to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 15th will be paid a $0.601 dividend. This is an increase from BCE’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 14th. BCE’s payout ratio is presently 95.83%.

BCE has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised BCE from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Bank of America initiated coverage on BCE in a research report on Tuesday, November 21st. They set a “buy” rating and a $54.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on BCE from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, November 17th. Desjardins lowered BCE from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 12th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of BCE in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Four 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 stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $56.00.

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BCE Profile

BCE Inc is a communications company. The Company’s segments include Bell Wireless, Bell Wireline and Bell Media. Its Bell Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data communications products and services to its residential, small and medium-sized business and large enterprise customers across Canada.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for BCE (NYSE:BCE)

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