An issue of CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) bonds rose 1.6% against their face value during trading on Wednesday after Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on the stock from $27.00 to $21.60. The debt issue has a 6.75% coupon and will mature on December 1, 2023. The bonds in the issue are now trading at $98.92 and were trading at $95.60 last week. Price moves in a company’s bonds in credit markets often anticipate parallel moves in its share price.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of CenturyLink from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. Bank of America lowered their price target on shares of CenturyLink from $42.00 to $27.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 10th. Oppenheimer lowered their price target on shares of CenturyLink from $28.00 to $20.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, Jefferies Group lowered their price target on shares of CenturyLink to $17.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. CenturyLink has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $22.78.

In related news, COO Jeffrey K. Storey bought 71,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 completion of the acquisition, the chief operating officer now owns 2,498,668 shares in the company, valued at $35,730,952.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Virginia Boulet bought 5,095 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 11th. The stock was bought at an average price of $15.48 per share, with a total value of $78,870.60. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 42,820 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $662,853.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders purchased 150,595 shares of company stock valued at $2,154,131. 0.61% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CTL. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC purchased a new stake in CenturyLink during the third quarter worth approximately $115,000. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC grew its stake in CenturyLink by 178.6% during the third quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 6,684 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 4,285 shares during the period. Blue Granite Capital LLC purchased a new stake in CenturyLink during the third quarter worth approximately $136,000. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC grew its stake in CenturyLink by 10,329.0% during the third quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 7,196 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 7,127 shares during the period. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new stake in CenturyLink during the second quarter worth approximately $197,000. Institutional investors own 82.32% of the company’s stock.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92. The firm has a market cap of $16,965.08, a P/E ratio of 8.18, a PEG ratio of -4.96 and a beta of 0.79.

CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 8th. The technology company reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) 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 analysts’ expectations of $4.06 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm 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, Inc. will post 1.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 27th were paid a dividend of $0.54 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 24th. This represents a $2.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 12.90%. CenturyLink’s dividend payout ratio is currently 372.42%.

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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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