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Tickers in this Article: CTL
CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) announced its results for the most recent quarter on November 7, 2012. CenturyLink is a communications company that offers communications services, including Internet access, broadband services, and voice services.

A business' earnings are the main determinant of its share price because earnings and the circumstances relating to them can indicate whether the business will be profitable and successful in the long run. SEE: Earnings: Quality Means Everything

The Numbers: CenturyLink posted an EPS above analyst expectations, despite revenues falling short of predictions. The company reported adjusted net income of 66 cents per share versus the 59 cents per share estimate and revenues of $4.57 billion versus the $4.61 billion estimate. Revenue fell 0.5% from the same period last year. Slumping revenue in the last quarter ends CenturyLink's streak of four consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Net income for the third quarter was $237 million. According to the reported number, this is up 13.9% from last year's figures.

Management Quote: "CenturyLink's third quarter results reflect our continued progress toward top line revenue stabilization, successful integration of the Qwest and Savvis operations and alignment of our operating costs with our revenue and growth opportunities," said Glen F. Post, III, chief executive officer and president. "Our Enterprise Markets-Network team achieved recurring revenue growth for the third straight quarter driven by solid customer retention and the increasing revenue contribution from enterprise customers added earlier this year. We continue to see strong demand for network services from enterprise customers as we recorded solid quarterly bookings and exited the quarter with a strong sales funnel. "Our strategic revenues continued to increase in our Regional Markets and Enterprise Markets operations; however, as previously discussed, we did experience modest strategic Wholesale Markets revenue compression as wireless carriers continue to migrate from copper-based to fiber-based connections. "We are pleased with the continued progress we made during the third quarter toward stabilizing top-line revenue and we believe our continued investment in our key strategic opportunities will help drive enhanced shareholder value," Post said.

Looking Ahead: For next quarter, analysts have a more positive outlook about the company's expected results. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is 61 cents per share, up from 60 cents 90 days ago. When analyst increase earnings estimates investors can assume business has been stronger than first thought and is an encouraging sign for investors. The average estimate for the fiscal year is $2.53 per share, a rise from $2.50 90 days ago.

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