Timely acquisitions spur BCE

Article Excerpt

Growth by acquisition can be risky, but BCE’s size lets it take advantage of attractive opportunities with a strong chance of success. Some, like its $3.2-billion purchase of Astral Media, further diversify its operations. Others, such as Bell Aliant, offer a low-risk way to expand its wireless and Fibe TV networks and cut overlapping costs. BCE INC. $51.08 (Toronto symbol BCE; Shares outstanding: 778.1 million; Market cap: $41.8 billion; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; Dividend yield: 4.8%; www.bce.ca) is Canada’s largest provider of telephone, Internet and wireless services. It also offers satellite and Internet TV across the country. In the three months ended September 30, 2014, BCE’s earnings per share rose 10.7%, to $0.83 from $0.75 a year earlier. Revenue increased 1.9%, to $5.2 billion from $5.1 billion. Revenue from wireless services (31% of the total) rose 7.0%. The company’s network upgrades continue to attract new wireless subscribers. It’s also gaining from rising use of smartphones, for which it charges higher…

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