Centurylink (CTL) Upgraded to Buy by Jefferies Financial Group

Jefferies Financial Group upgraded shares of Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. Jefferies Financial Group also issued estimates for Centurylink’s Q3 2018 earnings at $0.22 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.23 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $0.98 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $0.84 EPS.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Bank of America reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $27.00 price target on shares of Centurylink in a research report on Wednesday, May 16th. ValuEngine cut Centurylink from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Centurylink from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, March 16th. Guggenheim initiated coverage on Centurylink in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th. They issued a neutral rating and a $17.00 price target for the company. Finally, Macquarie cut Centurylink from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $27.61 to $18.00 in a research report on Wednesday, May 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Centurylink presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $21.00.

Shares of NYSE:CTL opened at $18.64 on Tuesday. Centurylink has a fifty-two week low of $13.16 and a fifty-two week high of $24.37. The stock has a market capitalization of $20.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.68, a P/E/G ratio of -13.41 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a quick ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.58.

Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 9th. The technology company reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.19 by $0.06. Centurylink had a return on equity of 4.94% and a net margin of 6.92%. The company had revenue of $5.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.97 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.35 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 41.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Centurylink will post 0.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 15th. Investors of record on Monday, June 4th were given a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, June 1st. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 11.59%. Centurylink’s dividend payout ratio is presently 146.94%.

In other news, Director Steven T. Clontz purchased 41,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 11th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $19.44 per share, for a total transaction of $797,040.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 162,019 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,149,649.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, major shareholder Holdings (Private) Ltd Temasek purchased 7,620,118 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 4th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $16.72 per share, for a total transaction of $127,408,372.96. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CTL. Employees Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in Centurylink by 33.6% during the fourth quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 79,500 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,326,000 after acquiring an additional 20,000 shares during the period. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership bought a new position in Centurylink during the fourth quarter valued at about $6,771,000. Baird Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Centurylink by 427.0% during the fourth quarter. Baird Financial Group Inc. now owns 148,170 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $2,471,000 after acquiring an additional 120,052 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its stake in Centurylink by 33.7% during the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 200,432 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $3,341,000 after acquiring an additional 50,555 shares during the period. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Centurylink by 28.6% during the fourth quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 35,179 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $587,000 after acquiring an additional 7,817 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.51% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Centurylink (NYSE:CTL)

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