Todays Report: Today, CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) Debt Trading 2.8% Lower

Today, CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) Debt Trading 2.8% Lower

An issue of CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL) debt fell 2.8% against its face value during trading on Thursday. The high-yield debt issue has a 7.65% coupon and will mature on March 15, 2042. The bonds in the issue are now trading at $86.50 and were trading at $88.80 one week ago. Price changes in a company’s debt in credit markets often anticipate parallel changes in its stock price.

Several research firms recently issued reports on CTL. Macquarie began coverage on CenturyLink in a research note on Monday, July 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $31.00 price target for the company. Vetr upgraded CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.33 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 31st. Jefferies Group reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Friday, September 2nd. RBC Capital Markets reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $31.00 target price (up from $29.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. CenturyLink has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $28.37.

Shares of CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL) opened at 26.97 on Friday. CenturyLink Inc. has a 12 month low of $21.94 and a 12 month high of $32.94. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $27.85 and its 200 day moving average price is $29.24. The company has a market capitalization of $14.72 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.10 and a beta of 0.80.

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CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.04. The firm earned $440 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.39 billion. CenturyLink had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 5.47%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.55 earnings per share. Analysts expect that CenturyLink Inc. will post $2.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.01%. CenturyLink’s payout ratio is 120.67%.

In other news, Director Harvey P. Perry sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.00, for a total transaction of $620,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CTL. Vanguard Group Inc. increased 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 worth $1,102,830,000 after buying an additional 1,815,294 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased 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 worth $981,706,000 after buying an additional 171,326 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased 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 worth $562,888,000 after buying an additional 474,127 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased 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 worth $467,239,000 after buying an additional 1,311,134 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in shares of CenturyLink by 5.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 15,427,843 shares of the company’s stock worth $493,074,000 after buying an additional 792,193 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.33% of the company’s stock.

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