The Fundamental Case for and Against CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL)

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) is in the highlights and many would want to know whether now might be a good time for it to present much upside. Now trading with a market value of 18.64B, the company has a mix of catalysts and obstacles that spring from the nature of its operations. Everyone seems to have their own opinion of this stock. But what do the numbers really say? We think it’s a great time to take a fresh look.

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) Fundamentals That Matter

It’s generally a good idea to start with the most fundamental piece of the picture: the balance sheet. The balance sheet health of any company plays a key role in its ability to meet its obligations and maintain the faith of its investment base. For CTL, the company currently has 160 million of cash on the books, which is offset by 124 million in current liabilities. The trend over time is important to note. In this case, the company’s debt has been falling. The company also has 50.54 billion in total assets, balanced by 37.58 billion in total liabilities, which should give you a sense of the viability of the company under any number of imagined business contexts.

CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) saw 205 million in free cash flow last quarter, representing a quarterly net change in cash of -193 million. Perhaps most importantly where cash movements are concerned, the company saw about 958 million in net operating cash flow.

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) Revenue Growth Potential

As far as key trends that demonstrate something of the future investment potential of this stock, we need to take a closer look at the top line, first and foremost. Last quarter, the company saw 4.03 billion in total revenues. That represents a quarterly year/year change in revenues of -0.08 in sequential terms, the CTL saw sales decline by -0.01.

But what about the bottom line? After all, that’s what really matters in the end. CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) is intriguing when broken down to its core data. The cost of selling goods last quarter was 2.84 billion, yielding a gross basic income of 1.2 billion. For shareholders, given the total diluted outstanding shares of 541.96 million, this means overall earnings per share of 0.17. Note, this compares with a consensus analyst forecast of 0.22 in earnings per share for its next fiscal quarterly report.

Is CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) Valuation Attractive

Looking ahead at valuations, according to the consensus, the next fiscal year is forecast to bring about 1.15 in total earnings per share. If we consider a median price to earnings ratio on the stock, that corresponds with a stock price of 11.97. However, one should always remember: the trends are more important than the forecasts. This continues to be an interesting story, and we look forward to updating it again soon on CenturyLink, Inc..

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