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CenturyLink (CTL) Gears Up for Q3 Earnings: What's in Store?

Zacks Equity Research

CenturyLink, Inc. CTL is scheduled to report third-quarter 2019 results on Nov 6, after the closing bell. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered a positive earnings surprise of 9.7%. Markedly, CenturyLink topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 12.4%.

The communications company continued to maximize profitability through deleveraging and cost-transformation initiatives.

Let’s find out how things have shaped up prior to the announcement —

Factors at Play

During the third quarter, CenturyLink continued its investment spree to digitally transform its business through improvement in customer experience and streamlining operations for employees. It expanded its SIMPLE for Business portfolio of prepaid services to include SIMPLE Internet + Digital Phone. The company is helping small business leaders to easily plan their monthly outlays, as cost control has become a top priority. CenturyLink’s service is available to more than 2.8 million small business clients across the United States.

Further, the company aggressively invested in fiber-to-the-tower facilities and augmented its fiber-based backhaul services to gain traction in the over-the-top video streaming content. CenturyLink has significantly increased broadband speed with continuous investments in network development.

Despite its focus on infrastructure development for long-term revenue growth, CenturyLink is likely to report lower revenues for the third quarter. This is due to tough year-over-year comparison, as the company implemented guardrails to drive revenues during the course of 2018.

For the September quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for total revenues stands at $5,551 million. The company recorded $5,818 million in the prior-year quarter. The consensus estimate for adjusted earnings per share (EPS) is pegged at 32 cents, suggesting an improvement over year-ago EPS of 30.

What Our Model Says

Our proven model doesn’t conclusively predict an earnings beat for CenturyLink this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Earnings ESP: CenturyLink’s Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is -1.03%.

Zacks Rank: CenturyLink currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

CenturyLink, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

CenturyLink, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

CenturyLink, Inc. price-eps-surprise | CenturyLink, Inc. Quote

Stocks to Consider

Here are some companies that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Franco-Nevada Corporation FNV is slated to release quarterly results on Nov 11. It has an Earnings ESP of +0.34% and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Liberty Broadband Corporation LBRDK is scheduled to release results on Nov 11. The company has an Earnings ESP of +5.75% and carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. FOLD has an Earnings ESP of +3.98% and carries a Zacks Rank of 2. The company is set to report results on Nov 11.

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