Centurylink (CTL) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “CenturyLink’s strong network capabilities, integrated hosting and network solutions are likely to promote growth in the cloud business. The company views its managed and cloud services to be key differentiators from other players in the industry, which should boost its top line. CenturyLink has expanded its fiber-based backhaul services and is establishing itself as a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions arena designed for enterprise customers. The stock has outperformed the industry in the past six months on an average. However, CenturyLink’s core local phone business has slowed down due to the substitution of traditional wireline telephone services by wireless and other competitive offerings. The company’s liquidity position seems to be a major concern, posing threat to its margins. Moreover, if CenturyLink fails to adopt new technology, it might result in greater subscriber loss to larger competitors.”

Several other research analysts have also recently issued reports on CTL. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Centurylink from $17.00 to $19.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. ValuEngine raised shares of Centurylink from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Cowen set a $20.00 target price on shares of Centurylink and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, September 25th. Barclays reissued a hold rating and set a $21.00 target price on shares of Centurylink in a report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Centurylink from $21.60 to $25.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Centurylink has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $21.33.

Shares of Centurylink stock opened at $20.66 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.60, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.98. Centurylink has a 1 year low of $13.16 and a 1 year high of $24.20. The firm has a market cap of $22.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.94, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of -13.19 and a beta of 0.86.

Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The technology company reported $0.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.03. Centurylink had a net margin of 7.62% and a return on equity of 4.50%. The firm had revenue of $5.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.46 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 44.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Centurylink will post 1.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 31st were issued a $0.54 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 30th. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 10.45%. Centurylink’s payout ratio is 146.94%.

In other Centurylink news, Director Glen F. Post III sold 150,000 shares of Centurylink stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.00, for a total value of $3,600,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 0.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Franklin Resources Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Centurylink in the first quarter valued at about $214,000. Profund Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Centurylink by 10.3% in the first quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 30,930 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $508,000 after purchasing an additional 2,901 shares during the period. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC grew its position in shares of Centurylink by 12.9% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services LLC now owns 144,508 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $2,374,000 after purchasing an additional 16,562 shares during the period. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC grew its position in shares of Centurylink by 50.8% in the first quarter. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC now owns 19,830 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $326,000 after purchasing an additional 6,678 shares during the period. Finally, Bayesian Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Centurylink in the first quarter valued at about $692,000. 77.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Centurylink Company Profile

CenturyLink, Inc provides various communications services to residential, business, wholesale, and governmental customers primarily in the United States. It operates in two segments, Business and Consumer. The company offers virtual private network data network services; Ethernet services; Internet protocol services; CenturyLink Prism TV that allows customers to watch television or cable channels and record up to four shows on one home digital video recorder; and Vyvx, which provides audio and video feeds over fiber or satellite for broadcast and production customers, as well as satellite digital television services.

Further Reading: Fundamental Analysis and Choosing Stocks

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Centurylink (CTL)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Centurylink (NYSE:CTL)

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

Leave a Reply