CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in the month of November. As of November 30th, there was short interest totalling 56,224,538 shares, an increase of 9.5% from the November 15th total of 51,355,653 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 15,477,354 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.6 days. Approximately 5.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Barclays upgraded CenturyLink from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $16.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday. ValuEngine upgraded CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Bank of America cut their target price on CenturyLink from $42.00 to $27.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, Oppenheimer dropped their price objective on CenturyLink from $28.00 to $20.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. CenturyLink has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $22.87.

Shares of CenturyLink (CTL) opened at $16.99 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92. CenturyLink has a 1 year low of $13.16 and a 1 year high of $27.61. The firm has a market capitalization of $18,740.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.49, a P/E/G ratio of -5.28 and a beta of 0.79.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.03). CenturyLink had a return on equity of 7.99% and a net margin of 1.89%. The business had revenue of $4.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.06 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.56 earnings per share. CenturyLink’s quarterly revenue was down 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that CenturyLink will post 1.56 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 27th were issued a $0.54 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 24th. This represents a $2.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 12.71%. CenturyLink’s payout ratio is presently 372.41%.

In related news, COO Jeffrey K. Storey bought 71,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $14.30 per share, for a total transaction of $1,015,300.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 2,498,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $35,730,952.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Virginia Boulet bought 5,095 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 11th. The shares were bought at an average price of $15.48 per share, with a total value of $78,870.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 42,820 shares in the company, valued at approximately $662,853.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have bought 150,595 shares of company stock valued at $2,154,131. Corporate insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Tredje AP fonden increased its holdings in CenturyLink by 47.1% in the 2nd quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 99,244 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $2,370,000 after purchasing an additional 31,767 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in CenturyLink by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 1,902,241 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $45,426,000 after purchasing an additional 9,400 shares in the last quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC increased its holdings in CenturyLink by 17.1% in the 3rd quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 441,440 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $8,343,000 after purchasing an additional 64,432 shares in the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp increased its holdings in CenturyLink by 20.3% in the 2nd quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 218,719 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $5,242,000 after purchasing an additional 36,937 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Front Street Capital Management Inc. increased its holdings in CenturyLink by 94.2% in the 2nd quarter. Front Street Capital Management Inc. now owns 95,448 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $2,279,000 after purchasing an additional 46,305 shares in the last quarter. 82.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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