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BCE President and CEO George Cope.
BCE President and CEO George Cope.
(MATHIEU BELANGER/REUTERS)

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BCE’s dividend engine is running out of gas

BCE Inc. was banking on its attempted purchase of Astral Media Inc. to goose its cash flows and fund dividend increases. It even went ahead and hiked its quarterly dividend nearly 5 per cent in August, to 56.75 cents a share, when it looked like the deal would go ahead. With that plan now dashed, investors should be mindful that BCE’s status as a born-again dividend hiker could be at risk.