The behemoth communications company primarily serves the country through wireless, Internet and TV services to the consumer and business sectors. BCE also has a massive media segment that has a number of TV stations and over 110 radio stations in more than 50 markets.
If that weren’t enough, the company also owns a sports team, retail chain, and an ad agency.
Let’s take a look at why BCE should be in your portfolio.
BCE has a massive moat and a great dividend
BCE is everywhere. If you don’t subscribe to, watch, or listen to something BCE-owned, then someone you know does. On a personal note, my morning routine once consisted of watching a BCE-owned station before leaving home, listening to a BCE-owned radio station in the car, and even walking through what was once known as BCE Place to get to work.
BCE has few competitors, and one to emerge at a national level would require a massive investment that would cost billions to build the required infrastructure. BCE has built its infrastructure over the course of many years, and it’s upgraded as new technology is released; a recent example is the new fiber service that the company is rolling out to more areas.
Between having the infrastructure to offer services to a large segment of the population and having so many revenue streams across such a broad spectrum of services, BCE probably as the largest, most defensive moat of any company. That’s great news for investors.
Furthermore, because all of that expensive infrastructure is already built, BCE can return most of its revenues back to shareholders in the form of an extremely impressive dividend.
BCE has one of the most impressive dividends on the market, and the company has been paying out dividends for well over a century. BCE currently pays out a yield of 4.58% with the most recent quarterly payout coming in at $0.6825.
Recent results promise more to come
In the most recent quarter, BCE posted operating revenues of $5,603 million, representing a 1.4% increase over the same quarter last year. When viewed on an annual basis, the company posted a 2.2% increase over last year, coming in at $21,514 million.
Net earnings attributable to common shareholders came in at $0.58 per share, or $496 million, which was an 8.5% decrease over the same quarter last year but still a 6.9% improvement year over year.
The company proudly announced 204,000 net new subscribers for the quarter with 91,000 postpaid wireless, 74,000 Fibe TV, and 39,000 high-speed Internet subscribers. In terms of market share, BCE remains a market leader for subscribers with over 3.4 million Internet subscribers and 2.7 million TV subscribers.
The media segment also managed to secure the exclusive rights to distribute HBO content in Canada, which adds to a similar agreement to host Showtime content reached last year.
BCE currently trades just shy of $60. The company is currently up over 11% year to date. Looking back over a much longer term, the stock is up by 68% over the past five years, making BCE a great investment for those investors seeking both long-term growth and a handsome dividend payment.
Given the company’s growth, market exposure, and dividend, in my opinion, BCE should be a part of every portfolio.