BCE is ready to compete

Article Excerpt

BCE faces strong competition from cable companies and new wireless providers. However, a major cost-cutting drive has freed up cash for new investments in its networks. These savings also give BCE room for dividend increases, share buybacks and other moves that can pay off for investors. BCE INC. $32 (Toronto symbol BCE; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Utilities sector; Shares outstanding: 763.0 million; Market cap: $24.4 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 1.4; Dividend yield: 5.4%; SI Rating: Above Average) is Canada’s largest provider of telephone, Internet and wireless services. The company’s main subsidiary, Bell Canada, has 6.8 million residential and business customers in Ontario and Quebec. BCE sells wireless services to 6.9 million subscribers across Canada. As well, it has 2.1 million high-speed Internet customers and 2.0 million satellite-TV subscribers. Telephone service and Internet access supply 58% of BCE’s revenue. Wireless provides 26%, and the remaining 16% comes from BCE’s 45% stake in Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund. Bell Aliant provides phone service in Atlantic Canada…

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