The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), CenturyLink met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank slightly. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew. GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.
Margins grew across the board.
CenturyLink chalked up revenue of $4.51 billion. The 15 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see revenue of $4.51 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.
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 $0.76. The 16 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.68 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.76 for Q1 were 12% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.68 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.48 for Q1 were 50% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.32 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 60.2%, 80 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 17.3%, 230 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 6.6%, 230 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.55 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.66.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $18.15 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.67.
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 519 members out of 574 rating the stock outperform, and 55 members rating it underperform. Among 157 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 138 give CenturyLink a green thumbs-up, and 19 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 $36.72.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.