CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Shenandoah Telecommunications (NASDAQ:SHEN) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, valuation, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for CenturyLink and Shenandoah Telecommunications, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CenturyLink 2 7 4 0 2.15
Shenandoah Telecommunications 0 0 2 0 3.00

CenturyLink currently has a consensus price target of $25.91, suggesting a potential downside of 4.89%. Shenandoah Telecommunications has a consensus price target of $34.00, suggesting a potential upside of 6.75%. Given Shenandoah Telecommunications’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Shenandoah Telecommunications is more favorable than CenturyLink.

Dividends

CenturyLink pays an annual dividend of $2.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.9%. Shenandoah Telecommunications pays an annual dividend of $0.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. CenturyLink pays out 211.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Shenandoah Telecommunications pays out -100.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

77.5% of CenturyLink shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.1% of Shenandoah Telecommunications shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of CenturyLink shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.2% of Shenandoah Telecommunications shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares CenturyLink and Shenandoah Telecommunications’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CenturyLink $17.28 billion 0.87 $6.42 billion $1.02 26.71
Shenandoah Telecommunications $596.60 million 2.62 $264.02 million ($0.25) -127.40

CenturyLink has higher revenue and earnings than Shenandoah Telecommunications. Shenandoah Telecommunications is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than CenturyLink, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

CenturyLink has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Shenandoah Telecommunications has a beta of 0.98, meaning that its stock price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares CenturyLink and Shenandoah Telecommunications’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CenturyLink 3.20% 8.96% 2.61%
Shenandoah Telecommunications -2.08% 9.79% 2.01%

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink, Inc. is an integrated communications company. The Company is engaged in providing an array of communications services to its residential and business customers. Its segments include business, which provides strategic, legacy and data integration products and services to small, medium and enterprise business, wholesale and governmental customers, including other communication providers, and consumer, which provides strategic and legacy products and services to residential customers. Its communications services include local and long-distance voice, broadband, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), private line (including special access), Ethernet, colocation, hosting (including cloud hosting and managed hosting), data integration, video, network, public access, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), information technology and other ancillary services. As of December 31, 2016, it served approximately 5.9 million broadband subscribers and 325,000 Prism TV subscribers.

About Shenandoah Telecommunications

Shenandoah Telecommunications Company is a telecommunications holding company. The Company’s segments are Wireless, Cable, Wireline and Other. The Company, through its operating subsidiaries, provides both regulated and unregulated telecommunications services to end user customers and other telecommunications providers in Virginia, West Virginia, central Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and portions of Kentucky and Ohio. The business of the Wireless segment is conducted principally by the Company’s subsidiary, Shenandoah Personal Communications, LLC (PCS). The business of the Company’s Cable segment is conducted through Shenandoah Cable Television, LLC (Shenandoah Cable). The Wireline segment provides regulated and unregulated voice services, digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet access, cable modem and long distance access services throughout Shenandoah County and portions of Rockingham, Frederick, Warren and Augusta counties, Virginia.

Receive News & Ratings for CenturyLink Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for CenturyLink Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.