CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “CenturyLink’s Prism TV services bode well and has brought in revenues. This growing momentum of Prism IPTV service has prompted the company to plan the 17 Channel over the top (OTT) services launch in the beginning of 2017 which should boost the company’s video segment business. CenturyLink’s investment in the fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) has expanded its fiber-based backhaul services. The company is also focused on establishing itself as a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions arena designed for enterprise customers. However, the company is facing mounting competitive pressure which led to the decision of cutting 8% of its labor force which accounts to almost 3,000 to 3,500 workers losing their jobs. Moreover, loss of high-speed broadband subscribers, falling low-bandwidth data services revenues, intensifying competition, federal regulations and the need to upgrade technology remain potent headwinds.”
Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley cut CenturyLink from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $31.00 to $27.00 in a report on Monday, July 18th. Macquarie initiated coverage on CenturyLink in a report on Monday, July 11th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $31.00 price objective on the stock. Vetr raised CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.33 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on CenturyLink in a report on Tuesday, June 21st. They set a “hold” rating and a $28.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of CenturyLink in a report on Friday, September 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $28.37.
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Shares of CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) traded down 0.3794% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $27.4654. The company had a trading volume of 983,934 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $15.00 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.3782 and a beta of 0.80. CenturyLink has a 1-year low of $21.94 and a 1-year high of $32.94. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $27.70 and a 200-day moving average price of $29.13.
CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.04. CenturyLink had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 5.47%. The company had revenue of $440 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.39 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that CenturyLink will post $2.53 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. CenturyLink’s dividend payout ratio is 120.67%.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC boosted its stake in shares of CenturyLink by 0.3% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC now owns 20,832 shares of the company’s stock valued at $604,000 after buying an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank boosted its stake in shares of CenturyLink by 1.6% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,672 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp boosted its stake in shares of CenturyLink by 0.5% in the second quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 14,707 shares of the company’s stock valued at $429,000 after buying an additional 76 shares in the last quarter. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV boosted its stake in shares of CenturyLink by 0.7% in the second quarter. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV now owns 17,249 shares of the company’s stock valued at $500,000 after buying an additional 125 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of CenturyLink by 2.1% in the second quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 10,087 shares of the company’s stock valued at $292,000 after buying an additional 204 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.33% of the company’s stock.
CenturyLink Company Profile
CenturyLink, Inc is an integrated communications company. The Company is engaged in providing an array of communications services to residential and business customers. The Company’s segments include Business and Consumer. Its communications services include local and long-distance voice, high-speed Internet, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), private line (including special access), data integration, Ethernet, colocation, managed hosting (including cloud hosting), network, public access, video, wireless and other ancillary services.
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