CenturyLink Inc Stock Hold 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 hold with a ratings score of C+. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally higher debt management risk.

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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 117.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $107.00 million to $233.00 million.
  • 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 $1.24 versus $1.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.66 versus $1.24).
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.07, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.47 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • In its most recent trading session, CTL has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.

CenturyLink, Inc. operates as an integrated telecommunications company in the United States. CenturyLink has a market cap of $23.1 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 25.00, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 18.00. Shares are down 5% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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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