Head-To-Head Comparison: Centurylink (CTL) vs. Neustar (NSR)

Centurylink (NYSE: CTL) and Neustar (NYSE:NSR) are both telecommunications services companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and dividends.


This table compares Centurylink and Neustar’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Centurylink 7.87% 5.88% 1.65%
Neustar 15.50% 19.28% 8.80%


Centurylink pays an annual dividend of $2.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 12.5%. Neustar does not pay a dividend. Centurylink pays out 415.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Centurylink and Neustar’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Centurylink $17.66 billion 1.05 $1.39 billion $0.52 33.33
Neustar N/A N/A N/A $3.27 N/A

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Centurylink and Neustar, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Centurylink 1 7 5 0 2.31
Neustar 0 0 0 0 N/A

Centurylink presently has a consensus price target of $21.17, indicating a potential upside of 22.14%.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

86.1% of Centurylink shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.8% of Neustar shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Centurylink shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.9% of Neustar shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


Neustar beats Centurylink on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

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 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. 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.

About Neustar

NeuStar, Inc. is a global information services provider. The Company’s cloud-based platforms and differentiated data sets offer informative, real-time analytics, which enable clients to make actionable, data-driven decisions. It provides chief marketing officers a suite of services to plan their media spends, identify and locate desired customers, invest in marketing campaigns, deliver relevant offers and measure the performance of these activities. Security professionals use the Company’s solutions to maximize Web performance and protect against malicious attacks. It enables the exchange of essential operating information across multiple carriers to provision and manage services, assisting clients with order processing and routing of customer inquiries. The Company’s services include marketing services, security services, data services and number portability administration center (NPAC) services.

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