CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued 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.”
Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley downgraded CenturyLink from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and cut their price target for the stock from $31.00 to $27.00 in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Macquarie began coverage on CenturyLink in a research note on Monday, July 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $31.00 price target on the stock. Vetr upgraded CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.33 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, August 31st. Evercore ISI began coverage on CenturyLink in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. They set a “hold” rating and a $28.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of CenturyLink in a research note on Friday, September 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $28.37.
CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) traded down 0.927% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $27.265. The company had a trading volume of 1,905,722 shares. 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 $28.07 and its 200 day moving average is $29.30. The company has a market capitalization of $14.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.266 and a beta of 0.80.
CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.63 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $440 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.39 billion. CenturyLink had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 5.47%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.55 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that CenturyLink will post $2.53 EPS for the current year.
The business 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 was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.85%. CenturyLink’s dividend payout ratio is currently 120.67%.
In related news, Director Harvey P. Perry sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.00, for a total value of $620,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 0.61% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CTL. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of CenturyLink during the first quarter worth approximately $109,000. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. FUKOKU MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE Co boosted its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank boosted its position in shares of CenturyLink by 13.8% in the second quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 4,597 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 558 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bellwether Investment Group LLC bought a new position in shares of CenturyLink during the second quarter worth approximately $134,000. 73.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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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