Portfolio holding BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) was going to become an income trust, until the Canadian government changed the tax implications of such a move. So now the company has scrapped its planned income trust conversion, and is instead boosting its dividend by 11% and repurchasing 5% of its stock.
Catherine McLean writes in the Globe and Mail:
George Cope, president of BCE's main Bell Canada unit, will lead the charge to improve the former phone monopoly's performance by accelerating revenue growth and wringing more profit from a competitive market.
“Yes, we're asking the management team to step up to an aggressive execution in terms of our revenue growth,” Mr. Cope told investors at a conference Tuesday in Toronto. “Probably we knew [it was] greater revenue growth than a lot of people expected. It's now up to us to execute on this.”
“They hit all the right buttons this time on what makes the market like a stock,” said Greg Eckel, senior vice-president at Morgan Meighen & Associates in Toronto, which holds BCE shares.
“They've definitely turned the beast around,” said Jonathan Popper, a portfolio manager at MFC Global Investment Management, which also holds shares in BCE. “It's got the foundation to head in the right direction.”
We're in very early innings with this pick. But I like the company -- an unloved legacy phone company -- and its management. Nothing is guaranteed, yet I am cautiously optimistic this will be a very nice investment.
BCE 1-yr chart