CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) Upgraded 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 report 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.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their target price on CenturyLink from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Macquarie restated a “neutral” rating and set a $30.00 price objective (down from $31.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research note on Tuesday, September 13th. Vetr upgraded shares of CenturyLink from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $29.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of CenturyLink from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $31.00 to $27.00 in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets restated a “sector perform” rating and set a $31.00 price objective (up from $29.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Two 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. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.37.
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Shares of CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) traded down 0.18% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $27.52. 1,202,603 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $15.03 billion, a PE ratio of 15.41 and a beta of 0.80. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $27.70 and its 200-day moving average is $29.13. CenturyLink has a 52-week low of $21.94 and a 52-week high of $32.94.
CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $440 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.39 billion. CenturyLink had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 5.47%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.55 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that CenturyLink will post $2.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a $0.54 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.83%. CenturyLink’s dividend payout ratio is currently 120.67%.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CTL. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of CenturyLink during the first quarter worth $109,000. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of CenturyLink by 44.5% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 1,062 shares in the last quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co boosted its position in shares of CenturyLink by 14.7% in the second quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 3,892 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank boosted its position in shares of CenturyLink by 1.6% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,672 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bellwether Investment Group LLC bought a new position in shares of CenturyLink during the second quarter worth $134,000. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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