The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Sep. 30 (Q3), CenturyLink met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank slightly and GAAP earnings per share expanded significantly.
Gross margins dropped, operating margins grew, net margins increased.
CenturyLink logged revenue of $4.57 billion. The 15 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected revenue of $4.57 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 0.5% lower than the prior-year quarter's $4.60 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $0.66. The 18 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.59 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.43 for Q3 were 87% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.23 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 57.5%, 40 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 16.1%, 180 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.9%, 290 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.58 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.62.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $18.37 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.53.
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 522 members out of 565 rating the stock outperform, and 43 members rating it underperform. Among 163 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 147 give CenturyLink a green thumbs-up, and 16 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on CenturyLink is outperform, with an average price target of $44.40.
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