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CenturyLink Rolls Out Fiber in Denver, Expands Footprint

Zacks Equity Research

Per media reports, CenturyLink, Inc. CTL is expanding its network in order to bring state-of-the-art fiber to Denver. The communications company continues to invest in growth and operational efficiency. It remains committed to delivering an excellent customer experience while enhancing its product capabilities.

The expansion is taking place in the Denver metro, including Westminster, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Golden, Broomfield, Arvada and Thornton. As a result, an additional 46,000 homes and 1,300 businesses will have access to fiber gigabit Internet by early 2020. CenturyLink currently serves nearly 260,000 homes. Services were first offered to businesses in Denver in 2014 and extended to consumers in 2015.

Reportedly, CenturyLink’s fiber gigabit is available for $65 per month to homes and small businesses. The company has been aggressively investing in fiber-to-the-tower facilities and augmented its fiber-based backhaul services to gain traction in the over-the-top video streaming content. It has significantly increased broadband speed with continuous investments in network development.

In October, CenturyLink expanded its scalable cloud networking solutions for better connectivity to cloud environment to serve the evolving demands of enterprises. The expansion of the Cloud Connect Dynamic Connections service of the company to Google Cloud Platform facilitates businesses to seamlessly connect and control bandwidth according to their requirements.

CenturyLink is shifting focus from integration to transformation efforts. It aims to generate revenue growth in its business markets and believes the scale of its global assets alongside innovative product portfolio to be accretive to earnings. Further, the company is working with customers to enable their 5G roadmaps while augmenting its fiber footprint.

CenturyLink remains confident in its ability to meet its deleveraging objectives and reaching the target leverage range of 2.75-3.25x (net debt to adjusted EBITDA) within the next three years, on the back of healthy business fundamentals. The company intends to return significant value to shareholders while investing in revenue and EBITDA growth drivers.

CenturyLink has long-term earnings growth expectation of 7.4%. Driven by strong execution of operational strategies, the stock has gained 41% compared with the industry’s growth of 7.7% in the past six months.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings has been revised 4.4% upward over the past 60 days. The company topped earnings estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average beat of 8.8%.

CenturyLink currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM, Ubiquiti Inc. UI and PCTEL, Inc. PCTI. While Qualcomm and Ubiquiti sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), PCTEL carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Qualcomm has long-term earnings growth expectation of 14%.   

Ubiquiti has long-term earnings growth expectation of 9.4%.   

PCTEL surpassed earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 150.6%.

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