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CenturyLink Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (CTL)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 92.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $140.00 million to $270.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,887.00 million or 29.69% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 9.59%.
  • The gross profit margin for CENTURYLINK INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.60%. Regardless of CTL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • CENTURYLINK INC reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CENTURYLINK INC reported lower earnings of $1.29 versus $3.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.67 versus $1.29).

CenturyLink, Inc. operates as an integrated telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides local and long-distance, network access, private line, public access, broadband, data, managed hosting, colocation, wireless, and video services to consumers and businesses. CenturyLink has a market cap of $25.22 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 39.2, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full CenturyLink Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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