Centurylink Inc (NYSE:CTL) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 60,647,599 shares, an increase of 6.1% from the December 15th total of 57,175,788 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 13,230,676 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.6 days. Approximately 5.7% of the company’s shares are short sold.

In other Centurylink news, COO Jeffrey K. Storey bought 71,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The stock was bought at an average price 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $35,730,952.40. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Vice Chairman William Bruce Hanks bought 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $14.41 per share, with a total value of $144,100.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 58,722 shares in the company, valued at approximately $846,184.02. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 150,595 shares of company stock worth $2,154,131. Company insiders own 0.61% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Centurylink by 22.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 57,351,163 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $1,369,547,000 after purchasing an additional 10,583,246 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in Centurylink by 6.2% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 10,289,893 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $194,498,000 after purchasing an additional 600,462 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in Centurylink by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,978,167 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $166,639,000 after purchasing an additional 95,821 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors bought a new position in Centurylink during the 2nd quarter worth about $142,086,000. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its holdings in Centurylink by 11.0% during the 3rd quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 5,521,373 shares of the technology company’s stock worth $104,354,000 after purchasing an additional 546,435 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 42.06% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Centurylink (NYSE CTL) opened at $17.31 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.92, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.82. Centurylink has a 1 year low of $13.16 and a 1 year high of $27.61. The company has a market cap of $18,500.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.84, a P/E/G ratio of -7.78 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 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by ($0.03). Centurylink had a net margin of 1.89% and a return on equity of 7.99%. The firm had revenue of $4.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.06 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.56 EPS. Centurylink’s quarterly revenue was down 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Centurylink will post 1.56 earnings per share for the current year.

Several analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Centurylink from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Barclays dropped their target price on shares of Centurylink from $23.00 to $19.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $22.00 target price on shares of Centurylink in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Deutsche Bank dropped their target price on shares of Centurylink from $23.00 to $20.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Centurylink from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.37.

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About Centurylink

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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