5. CenturyLink (CTL), operating through its subsidiaries, is an integrated communications company offering a range of communication services. The company's subsidiaries operate more than 7 million telephone access lines spread across 33 states.
Having a stable dividend payout history since 1991, the company recently made a dividend payout of 72.5 cents per share. CenturyLink currently has a dividend yield of 7%. CenturyLink's merger with Embarq is enabling significant investments in broadband services and is improving shareholder returns through healthy dividends, analysts say. Furthermore, the merger with Qwest will lead to similar synergies.
Heading into 2011, the company estimates operating revenue to narrow by 4%-5% from 6.5% in 2010. Meanwhile, for 2011 first quarter, revenue is expected to range from $1.68 to $1.70 billion and diluted earnings per share are foreseen between 66 cents and 70 cents.Of the 20 analysts covering the stock, 55% recommend a buy, while 40% rate a hold. On average, analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain 15.3% to $47.2 from current levels over the next 12 months.
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