Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $21.00 target price on the technology company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “CenturyLink is focused on improving operational efficiencies through network simplification and rationalization. This should help to improve its end-to-end provisioning time and drive standardization, as it aims to transform operations through product evolution and digitizing. The company is investing in fiber-to-the-tower expansion and has expanded its fiber-based backhaul services. Moreover, CenturyLink expects its Managed Office and Managed Enterprise Solutions to continue to gain traction and drive revenue growth on the back of increasing demands from small and large business customers. Furthermore, the company’s broadband expansion goal will help it benefit from the growing demand. The stock has outperformed the industry in the past year on average. However, CenturyLink’s core local phone business has slowed down due to the substitution of traditional wireline telephone services, limiting its growth potential to some extent.”
Several other analysts have also recently commented on CTL. Citigroup lifted their price target on Centurylink from $17.00 to $19.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. ValuEngine cut Centurylink from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, November 23rd. Barclays restated a hold rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of Centurylink in a report on Friday, August 10th. Cowen restated a hold rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of Centurylink in a report on Friday, November 9th. Finally, Oppenheimer lowered their price target on Centurylink from $24.00 to $22.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 9th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $20.92.
Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.30. The firm had revenue of $5.82 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.88 billion. Centurylink had a return on equity of 4.45% and a net margin of 7.81%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.42 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Centurylink will post 1.15 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 7th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 26th will be issued a $0.54 dividend. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 11.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 23rd. Centurylink’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 146.94%.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of CTL. Great Lakes Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Centurylink during the 3rd quarter worth about $6,922,000. Belpointe Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Centurylink during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,015,000. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of Centurylink by 8.2% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 7,230,528 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $153,286,000 after purchasing an additional 549,930 shares during the period. Kepos Capital LP grew its holdings in shares of Centurylink by 132.2% during the 3rd quarter. Kepos Capital LP now owns 308,789 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $6,546,000 after purchasing an additional 175,800 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Financial Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Centurylink by 19.5% during the 3rd quarter. Capstone Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 36,635 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $777,000 after purchasing an additional 5,987 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 76.38% of the company’s stock.
CenturyLink, Inc provides various communications services to residential, business, wholesale, and governmental customers primarily in the United States. It operates in two segments, Business and Consumer. The company offers virtual private network data network services; Ethernet services; Internet protocol services; CenturyLink Prism TV that allows customers to watch television or cable channels and record up to four shows on one home digital video recorder; and Vyvx, which provides audio and video feeds over fiber or satellite for broadcast and production customers, as well as satellite digital television services.
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