CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “CenturyLink is facing mounting competitive pressure. The company has decided to cut 8% of its labor force which accounts to almost 3,000 to 3,500 workers losing their jobs. Moreover, loss of high-speed broadband subscribers and falling low-bandwidth data services revenues raise concern. Further, intensifying competition, federal regulations and the constant need to upgrade technology remain potent headwinds. However, CenturyLink’s Prism TV services are doing considerably well and should bring in substantial revenues. Meanwhile, the company plans to launch its 17 Channel over the top (OTT) services in the beginning of 2017. CenturyLink’s investment in the fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) has expanded its fiber-based backhaul services.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on CTL. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective (up previously from $29.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $30.00 target price (down previously from $31.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Vetr raised CenturyLink from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $29.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on CenturyLink from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Friday, September 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.37.
Shares of CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) traded down 0.927% on Tuesday, reaching $27.265. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,905,722 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $28.07 and its 200-day moving average is $29.30. The stock has a market cap of $14.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.266 and a beta of 0.80. CenturyLink has a 52-week low of $21.94 and a 52-week high of $32.94.
CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.04. CenturyLink had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 5.47%. The firm earned $440 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.39 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.55 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that CenturyLink will post $2.53 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a $0.54 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 7.85%. CenturyLink’s payout ratio is presently 120.67%.
In other CenturyLink news, Director Harvey P. Perry sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.00, for a total value of $620,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.61% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of CenturyLink during the first quarter valued at about $109,000. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in CenturyLink by 44.5% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 1,062 shares during the last quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co raised its stake in CenturyLink by 14.7% in the second quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co now owns 3,892 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank raised its stake in CenturyLink by 13.8% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,597 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 558 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bellwether Investment Group LLC bought a new stake in CenturyLink during the second quarter worth about $134,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.
CenturyLink Company Profile
CenturyLink, Inc is an integrated communications company. The Company is engaged in providing an array of communications services to residential and business customers. The Company’s segments include Business and Consumer. Its communications services include local and long-distance voice, high-speed Internet, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), private line (including special access), data integration, Ethernet, colocation, managed hosting (including cloud hosting), network, public access, video, wireless and other ancillary services.
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