Centurylink (CTL) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday, January 9th.

According to Zacks, “CenturyLink remains focused on establishing itself as a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions arena for enterprise customers. The company unveiled a beta version of its OTT TV services. CenturyLink invests in fiber-to-the-tower expansion and has expanded its fiber-based backhaul services. Acquisition of Level 3 Communications will increase CenturyLink's network by 200,000 route miles of fiber. On the flip side, CenturyLink continues to suffer from declining access lines and broadband subscriber losses. High debt levels and decreasing cash flows are likely to affect the company's margins. Technological changes compel large investments, which can dilute cash flow. Over the past three months, the stock price declined 15.2% as against the industry's 0.5% loss. Moreover, CenturyLink unveiled disappointing guidance for certain important metrics for the full-year of 2017.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $25.00 price target on shares of Centurylink in a report on Monday, September 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a buy rating and issued a $26.00 price target on shares of Centurylink in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Barclays reduced their price objective on shares of Centurylink from $23.00 to $19.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. ValuEngine raised shares of Centurylink from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Bank of America reduced their price objective on shares of Centurylink from $42.00 to $27.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $22.37.

Shares of Centurylink (CTL) opened at $17.73 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $18,953.42, a P/E ratio of 9.14, a PEG ratio of -7.73 and a beta of 0.82. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a current ratio of 0.82. Centurylink has a fifty-two week low of $13.16 and a fifty-two week high of $27.61.

Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $4.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.06 billion. Centurylink had a return on equity of 7.99% and a net margin of 1.89%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.56 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Centurylink will post 1.56 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Glen F. Post III purchased 50,000 shares of Centurylink stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $14.17 per share, with a total value of $708,500.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, COO Jeffrey K. Storey acquired 71,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $14.30 per share, for a total transaction of $1,015,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 2,498,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,730,952.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have bought 150,595 shares of company stock worth $2,154,131. Insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its position in Centurylink by 132.3% in the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 6,264 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 3,568 shares in the last quarter. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC bought a new stake in Centurylink in the 3rd quarter valued at $115,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC lifted its position in Centurylink by 178.6% in the 3rd quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 6,684 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $134,000 after acquiring an additional 4,285 shares in the last quarter. Blue Granite Capital LLC bought a new stake in Centurylink in the 3rd quarter valued at $136,000. Finally, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC lifted its position in Centurylink by 10,329.0% in the 3rd quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 7,196 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $136,000 after acquiring an additional 7,127 shares in the last quarter. 42.38% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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 Enterprise, 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.

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