CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “CenturyLink posted weak third-quarter 2017 financial results with declining access lines and broadband subscriber loss. High debt levels and decreasing cash flows is 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 29.5% as against the industry's loss of 11.3%. On the flip side, 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. Meanwhile, recently, CenturyLink completed the acquisition of Level 3 Communications.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on CTL. BidaskClub lowered CenturyLink from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $26.00 target price on shares of CenturyLink in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Jefferies Group LLC reduced their target price on CenturyLink to $17.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 9th. UBS AG reduced their target price on CenturyLink from $29.00 to $22.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reduced their target price on CenturyLink from $28.00 to $20.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 10th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $23.07.

Shares of CenturyLink (CTL) traded down $0.03 on Monday, reaching $14.75. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 13,027,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,414,333. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.82. The company has a market cap of $15,810.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.62, a P/E/G ratio of -4.66 and a beta of 0.88. CenturyLink has a 1 year low of $14.06 and a 1 year high of $27.61.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.42 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.45 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $4.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.06 billion. CenturyLink had a return on equity of 7.99% and a net margin of 1.89%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.56 earnings per share. analysts expect that CenturyLink will post 1.59 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 27th will be given a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 24th. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 14.64%. CenturyLink’s dividend payout ratio is currently 372.41%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Eaton Vance Management lifted its position in shares of CenturyLink by 0.5% during the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 12,640 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $302,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC lifted its position in shares of CenturyLink by 1.1% during the second quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC now owns 9,202 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $220,000 after acquiring an additional 99 shares in the last quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of CenturyLink by 0.9% during the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 12,348 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $268,000 after acquiring an additional 116 shares in the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. raised its position in shares of CenturyLink by 0.3% in the second quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 37,199 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $888,000 after buying an additional 126 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sentry Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of CenturyLink by 0.5% in the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 37,917 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $905,000 after buying an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.74% of the company’s stock.

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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