CenturyLink Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. CenturyLink is a communications company that offers communications services, including Internet access, broadband services, and voice services.

CenturyLink, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 61 cents per share, a decline of 19.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 58 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 61 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 20.9% versus last year to $2.68.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company saw profit of 34 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 34 cents per share. This comes after two consecutive quarters of exceeding expectations.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $4.62 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of more than twofold from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $18.68 billion for the year, a rise of more than twofold from last year’s revenue of $7.04 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are optimistic about this stock, with 14 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and five rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 39.4% to $140 million (23 cents a share) from $231.2 million (76 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose more than twofold to $4.6 billion from $1.75 billion.

Key Stats:

The company’s revenue has increased for two consecutive quarters. In the second quarter, the figure rose more than twofold.

The company’s gross margin shrank by 7.8 percentage points in the in the third quarter. Revenue rose 163.1% while cost of sales rose 222% to $1.95 billion from a year earlier.

Stock Price Performance: Between December 12, 2011 and February 9, 2012, the stock price had risen $2.31 (6.5%), from $35.69 to $38. It saw one of its worst periods between July 1, 2011 and July 18, 2011 when shares fell for 11 straight days, dropping 7.8% (-$3.08) over that span. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 19, 2011 and December 27, 2011, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 6.4% (+$2.23) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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