CenturyLink Inc (CTL): Today's Featured Telecommunications Laggard

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.

CenturyLink ( CTL) pushed the Telecommunications industry lower today making it today's featured Telecommunications laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, CenturyLink fell $9.42 (-22.6%) to $32.27 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 70.3 million shares of CenturyLink exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.5 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $32.05-$34.15 after having opened the day at $33.97 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $41.69. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were: Alteva ( ALTV), down 12.5%, Warwick Valley Telephone Company ( WVT), down 12.5%, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam ( MTE), down 12.1%, and Phazar Corporation ( ANTP), down 10.2%.
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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 $26.07 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 40.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate CenturyLink a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and six rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates CenturyLink as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins 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.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the telecommunications industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Telecom ( IYZ) while those bearish on the telecommunications industry could consider ProShares Ult Sht Telecommunication ( TLL).

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