CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) Short Interest Update

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in the month of February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 74,306,448 shares, a growth of 3.7% from the February 15th total of 71,685,194 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 12,785,158 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.8 days. Approximately 13.6% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Shares of CTL stock traded down $0.15 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $17.21. The stock had a trading volume of 11,037,892 shares, compared to its average volume of 12,132,146. The company has a market capitalization of $18,572.81, a P/E ratio of 11.71, a PEG ratio of -10.22 and a beta of 0.79. CenturyLink has a twelve month low of $13.16 and a twelve month high of $27.61. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59.

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CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The technology company reported $0.18 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.32 by ($0.14). The firm had revenue of $5.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.69 billion. CenturyLink had a net margin of 7.87% and a return on equity of 5.88%. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.54 earnings per share. research analysts predict that CenturyLink will post 0.85 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 16th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 5th were issued a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 12.55%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 2nd. CenturyLink’s payout ratio is currently 146.94%.

CTL has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of CenturyLink from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. Cowen set a $19.00 price target on shares of CenturyLink and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of CenturyLink from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barclays reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $17.00 price target on shares of CenturyLink in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Finally, Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of CenturyLink from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $19.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.65.

In other news, major shareholder Holdings (Private) Ltd Temasek bought 7,620,118 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 4th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $16.72 per share, for a total transaction of $127,408,372.96. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.61% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of CenturyLink by 15.3% during the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 92,029 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,535,000 after purchasing an additional 12,236 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its holdings in shares of CenturyLink by 65.9% during the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 163,248 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $2,723,000 after purchasing an additional 64,817 shares during the period. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of CenturyLink by 276.9% during the fourth quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 114,664 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,913,000 after purchasing an additional 84,242 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp lifted its holdings in shares of CenturyLink by 78.1% during the fourth quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 544,260 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $9,078,000 after purchasing an additional 238,711 shares during the period. Finally, Sawtooth Solutions LLC acquired a new stake in shares of CenturyLink during the fourth quarter worth $1,036,000. 86.10% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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