Centurylink (CTL) Upgraded at 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 morning.

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.”

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on CTL. Barclays decreased their price objective on Centurylink from $23.00 to $19.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and issued a $22.00 price objective on shares of Centurylink in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Deutsche Bank decreased their price objective on Centurylink from $23.00 to $20.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. ValuEngine raised Centurylink from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and issued a $25.00 price target on shares of Centurylink in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Centurylink presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $22.37.

Shares of Centurylink (NYSE CTL) traded down $0.11 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $17.36. The stock had a trading volume of 11,530,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 16,840,000. The firm has a market cap of $18,560.00, a PE ratio of 29.93, a PEG ratio of -7.80 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92. Centurylink has a fifty-two week low of $13.16 and a fifty-two week high of $27.61.

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

In other Centurylink news, Director Virginia Boulet purchased 5,095 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $15.48 per share, for a total transaction of $78,870.60. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 42,820 shares in the company, valued at $662,853.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO Jeffrey K. Storey purchased 71,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 8th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $14.30 per share, with a total value of $1,015,300.00. Following the purchase, the chief operating officer now owns 2,498,668 shares in the company, valued at $35,730,952.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders purchased 150,595 shares of company stock valued at $2,154,131. 0.61% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of CTL. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC purchased a new stake in Centurylink during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $115,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC increased its stake in Centurylink by 178.6% during the 3rd quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 6,684 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 4,285 shares in the last quarter. Blue Granite Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Centurylink during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $136,000. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC increased its stake in Centurylink by 10,329.0% during the 3rd quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 7,196 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 7,127 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new stake in Centurylink during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $197,000. Institutional investors own 82.32% of the company’s stock.

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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 business, 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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