Friday, January 23, 2009


I am looking at this stock (TSX-BCE) as I just received the proxy information on it, but there will no 2008 annual report or meeting until probably June 2008. Since the last annual statement was out in December 2007, and the last quarterly statement was September 2008, I will deal with these statements. I will also deal with what analysts are saying about this stock.

First, let us deal with the proxy. As with other high profile Canadian companies, the proxy contain a long list of shareholder proposals. All of the current ones come from a Quebec organization called MEDAC. I do not know the agenda of the organization, but I knew when I read the first proposal of “Increased dividends for long term shareholders” that this organization does not know what it is talking about. It would be illegal for BCE to treat shareholders differently. Even I know that. I did not vote for any of the shareholder proposals. I do not believe in voting for a board of directors and then tying their hands up as to what they can and cannot do.

I looked first at insider buying and selling and there is nothing going on either way. BCE has restored their dividend, but there was no increase. Revenue and earnings are fairly flat of late, although there has been some growth in Cash Flow and Book Value. The Accrual Ratio has remained low. The yield is higher at 5.8% than the 5 year average of 4.4%. The P/E at 11.5% is lower than the 5 year average of 13%. Also, the Graham Price is at $30.17, higher than the current price of $25.17. This all points to a relative good buy at present.

There is a surprising number of Strong Buys out on this stock. There are also a number of Hold ratings. Because of this, the mean rating is a Buy. (See my site for information on analyst ratings.) Some people think that Bell is stronger now that it has the new management put in place by those who wanted to buy it. No one expects the revenues or EPS to make a strong showing for the 2008 statement year end. The main worry seems to be that BCE is facing strong competitive pressure and that it may not do that well. At the moment I plan to continue to hold my shares, but I will be keeping a close eye on this stock and might sell in the future.

BCE Inc. is a communications company. Through Bell Canada, BCE provides local telephone, long distance, wireless communications, Internet access, data, video and other services to residential and business customers. Additional subsidiaries include Bell Globemedia, a media company that includes CTV and the Globe and Mail. Its web site is See my spreadsheet at

This blog is meant for educational purposes only, and is not to provide investment advice. Before making any investment decision, you should always do your own research or consult an investment professional. See my website at for a list of the stocks for which I have put up spreadsheets on my web site.

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