UPDATE 1-BCE stock rise the latest swing of the pendulum

Fri Jul 4, 2008 12:59pm EDT
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(Adds details, analyst's comments)

TORONTO, July 4 (Reuters) - The 13 percent leap in the share price of BCE Inc BCE.TOBCE.N on Friday is just the latest swing in the see-saw course the stock has taken over the past 12 months.

When the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan launched its campaign to buy BCE, Canada's biggest telecom company, in June 2007, the share rose to C$41.76, only pennies below the price that Teachers' and its group of private investors were offering.

By May of this year, the stock was back at a low of C$31.80 reflecting a Quebec court ruling that threatened to scupper the C$34.8 billion ($34.1 billion) deal, the world's largest leveraged buyout.

"It's been a remarkable roller-coaster," said Gavin Graham, chief investment officer at Guardian Group of Funds.

"I think you really had to take a view: did you think this deal was going to go through? Obviously, lots of people didn't believe that."

BCE stock was once known as a stable widows' and orphans' issue that paid big dividends.

It began its rapid ascent from the C$32 level in April of last year in the wake of buyout rumors.

But when financial markets were seized by the credit crunch last summer, anxiety that the deal could be delayed, repriced or scrapped altogether drove the share price down again.   Continued...