CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Altice USA (NASDAQ:ATUS) are both large-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares CenturyLink and Altice USA’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CenturyLink 2.20% 8.43% 2.36%
Altice USA -20.39% -63.90% -5.28%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares CenturyLink and Altice USA’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CenturyLink $16.97 billion 0.61 $6.06 billion $0.69 27.51
Altice USA $9.20 billion 2.19 $3.69 billion N/A N/A

CenturyLink has higher revenue and earnings than Altice USA.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for CenturyLink and Altice USA, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CenturyLink 3 6 4 0 2.08
Altice USA 0 6 6 0 2.50

CenturyLink currently has a consensus price target of $25.55, indicating a potential upside of 34.59%. Altice USA has a consensus price target of $35.92, indicating a potential upside of 31.56%. Given CenturyLink’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe CenturyLink is more favorable than Altice USA.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

83.0% of CenturyLink shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of CenturyLink shares are held 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.

Dividends

CenturyLink pays an annual dividend of $2.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 11.4%. Altice USA does not pay a dividend. CenturyLink pays out 313.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Summary

CenturyLink beats Altice USA on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

CenturyLink Company Profile

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.

Altice USA Company Profile

Altice USA, Inc. is engaged in providing broadband communications and video services in the United States. The Company’s segments include Cablevision and Cequel. Cablevision provides broadband, pay television and telephony services to residential and business customers in and around the New York metropolitan area. Cequel provides broadband, pay television and telephony services to residential and business customers in the south-central United States. It also provides services through ten states of Texas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Missouri and Ohio. The Company also provides Wi-Fi hotspot access content and advertising services. Broadband provides services, such as video streaming, content downloading for time-shifted video consumption and other applications delivered over OTT platforms. Pay Television provides services through cable network. Video services delivered over DSL networks.

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