Short Interest in Centurylink Inc (CTL) Expands By 5.5%

Centurylink Inc (NYSE:CTL) saw a large increase in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 62,895,488 shares, an increase of 5.5% from the January 12th total of 59,626,820 shares. Currently, 5.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 10,619,679 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.9 days.

In related news, COO Jeffrey K. Storey acquired 71,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $14.30 per share, for a total transaction of $1,015,300.00. Following the purchase, the chief operating officer now owns 2,498,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,730,952.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Virginia Boulet acquired 5,095 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The stock was bought at an average price of $15.48 per share, for a total transaction of $78,870.60. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 42,820 shares in the company, valued at approximately $662,853.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders bought 150,595 shares of company stock worth $2,154,131. Corporate insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Sentry Investment Management LLC grew its position in Centurylink by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 37,917 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $905,000 after acquiring an additional 174 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans boosted its position in Centurylink by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 20,855 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $498,000 after buying an additional 663 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. boosted its position in Centurylink by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 94,774 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $2,262,000 after buying an additional 1,218 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its position in Centurylink by 12.8% in the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 22,408 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $535,000 after buying an additional 2,538 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its position in Centurylink by 2.1% in the 3rd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 135,156 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $2,554,000 after buying an additional 2,754 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 43.43% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Centurylink (NYSE CTL) opened at $16.76 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $17,920.00, a P/E ratio of 28.90, a P/E/G ratio of -6.96 and a beta of 0.82. Centurylink has a 12-month low of $13.16 and a 12-month high of $27.61. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on CTL shares. Jefferies Group lowered their price objective on Centurylink to $17.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Oppenheimer lowered their price objective on Centurylink from $28.00 to $20.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Centurylink from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $19.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Barclays upgraded Centurylink from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $16.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $16.00 price objective on shares of Centurylink in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Centurylink currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $22.37.

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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 Enterprise, 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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