On Sep 7, 2017, we issued an updated research report on BCE Inc. (BCE - Free Report) , a leading Canadian telephone operator.
The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Shares of BCE have rallied 11.8%, outperforming the industry’s growth of 7.5%, over the last six months.
On Mar 17, 2017, BCE’s subsidiary, Bell Canada, completed the acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS) and helped it gain almost 710,000 wireless, Internet and IPTV customers in Manitoba. This development has further led to a 5% increase in total broadband service subscribers and also catapulted Bell Canada to the status of a leading mobile provider in Manitoba with more than 470,000 total Bell and MTS wireless subscribers.
We are impressed with BCE’s efforts to strengthen footprint in advanced networks Fibe TV and Fibe Internet services as well as the hosting and cloud suite.
Bell Canada plans to invest $854 million, aiming to connect millions of homes and businesses in Montreal with the fastest broadband fiber technology. This move in turn will expectedly aid the BCE unit’s fiber-optics network suite.
BCE’s acquisition of Q9 Networks has also fortified its foothold in the cloud space.
Increasing deployment of Gigabit Fibe, 4G LTE mobile networks, IP phone services and post-paid businesses have helped the company win customers in its post-paid wireless business and put a check on subscriber loss.
We further believe, significant investments in network coverage, customer retention, lucrative data plans and launch of new handsets along with provision of net protection might have driven a steady customer rise.
However, the company operates in a highly competitive market. In the wireless segment, BCE competes with the likes of Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI - Free Report) and TELUS Corporation (TU - Free Report) as well as small regional carriers in Canada. In the wireline segment, it contends with Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR - Free Report) .
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