Centurylink Inc (CTL) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Centurylink Inc (NYSE:CTL) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Friday, May 5th.

According to Zacks, “CenturyLink posted weak first-quarter 2017 financial results where both the bottom line and the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. CenturyLink unveiled disappointing guidance for certain important metrics for the second quarter of 2017. In Mar 2017, CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications moved a step closer to their proposed merger amid shareholders' approval of both sides. Moreover, CenturyLink remains focused on establishing itself as a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions arena for enterprise customers. Further, CenturyLink plans to launch its over the top (OTT) services in 2017. However, loss in access lines, reducing legacy voice services revenues, tough competition, federal regulations and the need to upgrade technology are other risks. Over the past three months, the stock declined 5.2% while the Zacks catgeorized Wireless National industry contracted 4.1%.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on CTL. Cowen and Company set a $25.00 price objective on shares of Centurylink and gave the stock a market perform rating in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Vetr downgraded shares of Centurylink from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $26.40 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Moffett Nathanson assumed coverage on shares of Centurylink in a research report on Tuesday, February 28th. They issued a neutral rating and a $23.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Group LLC reduced their price target on shares of Centurylink from $26.00 to $23.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating and issued a $27.00 price target on shares of Centurylink in a research report on Wednesday, March 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $26.70.

Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) traded up 1.14% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $24.87. 10,497,668 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Centurylink has a 12-month low of $22.33 and a 12-month high of $33.45. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.38 and a beta of 0.83. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $24.89 and its 200-day moving average is $24.45.

Centurylink (NYSE:CTL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The technology company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.21 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.27 billion. Centurylink had a return on equity of 9.58% and a net margin of 3.58%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 4.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.71 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Centurylink will post $2.11 earnings per share for the current year.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Centurylink by 19.4% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 46,767,917 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $1,102,321,000 after buying an additional 7,600,609 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Centurylink during the fourth quarter valued at $86,191,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Centurylink by 150.5% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 5,685,844 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $134,016,000 after buying an additional 3,415,959 shares during the last quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Centurylink by 107.8% in the first quarter. Thornburg Investment Management Inc. now owns 6,521,497 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $153,712,000 after buying an additional 3,383,155 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Centurylink by 53.3% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,724,085 shares of the technology company’s stock valued at $88,559,000 after buying an additional 1,295,499 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.98% of the company’s stock.

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 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.

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