An issue of CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) debt rose 1.7% as a percentage of its face value during trading on Thursday following a weaker than expected earnings announcement. The debt issue has a 5.8% coupon and will mature on March 15, 2022. The bonds in the issue are now trading at $95.22 and were trading at $100.25 one week ago. Price changes in a company’s debt in credit markets often predict parallel changes in its stock price. The technology company reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.03). The business had revenue of $4.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.06 billion. CenturyLink had a return on equity of 8.43% and a net margin of 2.20%. CenturyLink’s revenue was down 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.56 EPS.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on CTL shares. ValuEngine raised CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 target price on shares of CenturyLink in a research note on Thursday. UBS AG cut their target price on CenturyLink from $29.00 to $22.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised CenturyLink from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG cut their target price on CenturyLink from $23.00 to $20.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $23.39.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in CenturyLink by 22.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 57,351,163 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,369,547,000 after purchasing an additional 10,583,246 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in CenturyLink by 3.2% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 9,689,431 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $231,404,000 after purchasing an additional 301,671 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its holdings in CenturyLink by 1.4% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,978,167 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $166,639,000 after purchasing an additional 95,821 shares during the period. Capital World Investors purchased a new position in CenturyLink in the second quarter valued at $142,086,000. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. boosted its holdings in CenturyLink by 5.2% in the second quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 4,974,938 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $118,801,000 after purchasing an additional 244,347 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.51% of the company’s stock.

The company has a market capitalization of $16,020.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.80, a PEG ratio of -4.14 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a current ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 0.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90.

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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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