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

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “CenturyLink posted weak third-quarter 2017 financial results with declining access lines and broadband subscriber loss. High debt levels and decreasing cash flows is likely to affect the company's margins. Technological changes compel large investments, which can dilute cash flow. Over the past three months, the stock price declined 29.5% as against the industry's loss of 11.3%. On the flip side, CenturyLink remains focused on establishing itself as a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions arena for enterprise customers. The company unveiled a beta version of its OTT TV services. CenturyLink invests in fiber-to-the-tower expansion and has expanded its fiber-based backhaul services. Meanwhile, recently, CenturyLink completed the acquisition of Level 3 Communications.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. ValuEngine lowered CenturyLink from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Cowen and Company reissued a hold rating and issued a $24.00 price objective on shares of CenturyLink in a report on Thursday, October 19th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a hold rating and issued a $25.00 price objective on shares of CenturyLink in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. 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. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their target price on CenturyLink from $27.00 to $26.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. CenturyLink has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $23.07.

CenturyLink (CTL) traded down $0.15 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $15.33. The company had a trading volume of 16,401,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,324,079. CenturyLink has a twelve month low of $14.60 and a twelve month high of $27.61. The stock has a market cap of $15,650.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.98, a P/E/G ratio of -4.14 and a beta of 0.88. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.82.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.03). CenturyLink had a net margin of 1.89% and a return on equity of 7.99%. The business had revenue of $4.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.06 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.56 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that CenturyLink will post 1.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in CenturyLink by 22.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 57,351,163 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,369,547,000 after purchasing an additional 10,583,246 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in CenturyLink by 6.2% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 10,289,893 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $194,498,000 after purchasing an additional 600,462 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in CenturyLink by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,978,167 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $166,639,000 after purchasing an additional 95,821 shares during the period. Capital World Investors purchased a new position in CenturyLink in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $142,086,000. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its stake in CenturyLink by 11.0% in the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,521,373 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $104,354,000 after purchasing an additional 546,435 shares during the period. 81.74% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

CenturyLink Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL)

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