Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “CenturyLink’s Prism TV services bode well and has brought in revenues. This growing momentum of Prism IPTV service has prompted the company to plan the 17 Channel over the top (OTT) services launch in the beginning of 2017 which should boost the company’s video segment business. CenturyLink’s investment in the fiber-to-the-tower (FTTT) has expanded its fiber-based backhaul services. The company is also focused on establishing itself as a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions arena designed for enterprise customers. However, the company is facing mounting competitive pressure which led to the decision of cutting 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, falling low-bandwidth data services revenues, intensifying competition, federal regulations and the need to upgrade technology remain potent headwinds.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. Vetr upgraded shares of CenturyLink from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $29.33 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 31st. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. They issued a hold rating and a $28.00 price target for the company. Macquarie reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $30.00 price target (down from $31.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. RBC Capital Markets reiterated a sector perform rating and issued a $31.00 price target (up from $29.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on shares of CenturyLink from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $28.44.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) traded up 0.15% during trading on Thursday, hitting $27.43. The company had a trading volume of 520,925 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $27.66 and a 200-day moving average of $29.12. CenturyLink has a one year low of $21.94 and a one year high of $32.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.98 billion, a PE ratio of 15.36 and a beta of 0.80.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by $0.04. CenturyLink had a net margin of 5.47% and a return on equity of 11.02%. The company earned $440 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.39 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.55 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate 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. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a $0.54 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 7.89%. CenturyLink’s payout ratio is 120.67%.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of CenturyLink by 5.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,015,493 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,102,830,000 after buying an additional 1,815,294 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in shares of CenturyLink by 0.6% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 30,716,866 shares of the company’s stock valued at $981,706,000 after buying an additional 171,326 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of CenturyLink by 2.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 19,403,203 shares of the company’s stock valued at $562,888,000 after buying an additional 474,127 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its position in shares of CenturyLink by 8.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 16,106,122 shares of the company’s stock valued at $467,239,000 after buying an additional 1,311,134 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of CenturyLink by 25.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 9,037,670 shares of the company’s stock valued at $262,156,000 after buying an additional 1,823,847 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.33% 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 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CTL

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