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CenturyLink's Solution to Drive Braskem's Network Performance

Zacks Equity Research

CenturyLink, Inc. CTL recently communicated that it has been chosen by Braskem to deliver a global software-defined wide area network solution to more than 50 of the latter’s locations across Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia. Financial terms of the deal remained undisclosed. Braskem is considered to be the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas and the world’s leading producer of biopolymers.

The SD-WAN will undergo more than 130 Multi-Protocol Label Switching and Internet links, with a connection to the private cloud, through CenturyLink’s Cloud Connect Solutions. Markedly, the technology provider offers a comprehensive, flexible SD-WAN solutions portfolio featuring Versa Networks, Cisco Meraki and Cisco Viptela technologies.

The company will provide Braskem with a network that can deploy branch sites, deliver cost savings with private and public networks, and provide optimized cloud connectivity and application-aware routing. Braskem will, therefore, have the flexibility to leverage diverse network resources and provide faster user access to business applications.

Additionally, Braskem will utilize CenturyLink’s Network Management Service for network monitoring with preventive actions, as well as data extraction for analysis and improvement recommendations. CenturyLink's SD-WAN solution is useful for companies that are looking to drive network performance, simplify network operations and promote business growth.

CenturyLink is focused on digitally transforming its business through product evolution, improvement in customer experience and streamlining operations for employees. It aims to generate revenues in its business markets and believes the scale of its global assets alongside an 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.

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

CenturyLink has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 7.4%. Backed by the strong execution of operational strategies, the stock has gained 16.6% compared with the industry’s growth of 8.2% in the past six months.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings has been revised 5.9% upward over the past 60 days. The company topped earnings estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 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 a long-term earnings growth expectation of 14%.   

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

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

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