The CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

The CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released 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.”

Other research analysts have also issued research 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 report on Wednesday, August 31st. Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Tuesday, June 21st. They set a “hold” rating and a $28.00 price objective for the company. Macquarie reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $30.00 price objective (down previously from $31.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and set a $31.00 price objective (up previously from $29.00) on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price objective on shares of CenturyLink from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 8th. 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 company’s stock. CenturyLink has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.37.

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Shares of CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) opened at 27.76 on Tuesday. CenturyLink has a 52-week low of $21.94 and a 52-week high of $32.94. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $27.81 and its 200 day moving average is $29.21. The company has a market capitalization of $15.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.54 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 (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.04. CenturyLink had a net margin of 5.47% and a return on equity of 11.02%. The firm earned $440 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.39 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.55 EPS. The company’s revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that CenturyLink will post $2.53 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.78%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. CenturyLink’s dividend payout ratio is 120.67%.

In other CenturyLink news, Director Harvey P. Perry sold 20,000 shares of CenturyLink stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.00, for a total transaction of $620,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Company insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CTL. Acrospire Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in CenturyLink during the first quarter worth approximately $109,000. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted 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 boosted 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 boosted its stake in CenturyLink by 1.6% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,672 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bellwether Investment Group LLC acquired a new stake in CenturyLink during the second quarter worth approximately $134,000. 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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