An issue of CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) bonds rose 1.8% against their face value during trading on Friday. The high-yield debt issue has a 5.625% coupon and will mature on April 1, 2025. The debt is now trading at $97.50 and was trading at $95.80 one week ago. Price changes in a company’s bonds in credit markets often predict parallel changes in its stock price.

Several research firms recently commented on CTL. UBS AG set a $29.00 target price on CenturyLink and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. ValuEngine upgraded CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $25.00 target price on shares of CenturyLink in a research report on Monday, September 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. 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 report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $26.15.

Shares of CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) opened at 18.54 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.19 billion, a PE ratio of 26.87 and a beta of 0.89. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $20.32 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.33. CenturyLink, Inc. has a 12-month low of $18.17 and a 12-month high of $33.45.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The technology company reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.49 by ($0.03). CenturyLink had a return on equity of 8.43% and a net margin of 2.20%. The business had revenue of $4.09 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.09 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.63 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that CenturyLink, Inc. will post $1.94 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 5th were paid a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 11.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 31st. CenturyLink’s payout ratio is presently 313.04%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Eaton Vance Management lifted its stake in CenturyLink by 0.5% during the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 12,640 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $302,000 after purchasing an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. lifted its stake in CenturyLink by 0.7% during the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 13,386 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $316,000 after purchasing an additional 93 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC lifted its stake in CenturyLink by 1.1% during the second quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC now owns 9,202 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $220,000 after purchasing an additional 99 shares during the last quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in CenturyLink by 0.9% during the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 12,348 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $268,000 after purchasing an additional 116 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Manhattan Co. lifted its stake in CenturyLink by 0.3% during the second quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 37,199 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $888,000 after purchasing an additional 126 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 83.04% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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