BCE has advantages in fight with Verizon

Article Excerpt

The possibility of U.S.-based Verizon Communications entering the Canadian wireless market has hurt BCE’s shares. (Verizon is a recommendation of Wall Street Stock Forecaster, our newsletter that focuses on U.S. stocks.) However, BCE’s strategy of selling bundles of services—wireless, regular phone, Internet and TV—under long-term contracts should help it hang on to its customers. BCE INC. $42 (Toronto symbol BCE; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Utilities sector; Shares outstanding: 775.9 million; Market cap: $32.6 billion; Priceto- sales ratio: 1.6; Dividend yield: 5.5%; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; www.bce.ca) has 5.4 million telephone customers in Ontario and Quebec, as well as 2.1 million high-speed Internet subscribers and 2.2 million TV clients. In addition, the company’s wireless business now has 7.7 million subscribers across Canada. BCE also owns 45% of Bell Aliant (see box this page). In the three months ended June 30, 2013, the company’s earnings fell 20.5%, to $594 million, or $0.77 a share. A year earlier, it earned $747 million, or $0.97….

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