investing

The Best Stock in Louisiana: CenturyLink

We analyzed publicly traded companies based in the Bayou State to identify the best stock in Louisiana to buy now.

We scoured the nation to identify the best stock in every state. CenturyLink (symbol CTL) is the publicly traded company we picked in Louisiana. The company headquarters is located in Monroe.

A word of caution: Since we selected a single stock from each state (plus one from D.C), and choices in some states are sparse, a few of our picks are best suited to investors comfortable with a higher degree of risk. This is not necessarily one of our 51 favorite stocks in the entire U.S., in other words.

CenturyLink by the Numbers

  • Headquarters: Monroe
  • Share price: $24.35
  • Market value: $13.4 billion
  • Price-earnings ratio: 11

(Prices and data are as of June 22, 2017)

The third-largest telephone company in the U.S., CenturyLink provides broadband, voice and wireless services to residential and business customers.

The company’s stock plummeted last October when it announced plans to acquire telecom rival Level 3 Communications, likely over investor concerns that CenturyLink was overpaying, says Value Line analyst Daniel Henigson. That the company reported a 4% year-over-year revenue decline in the first quarter didn’t improve investor sentiment, and long-term concerns remain about wireless providers depleting CenturyLink’s highly profitable landline business.

Though cautious about the revenue declines, CFRA analyst Angelo Zino says the company’s sales are growing in more-profitable areas, such as high-bandwidth broadband, and the Level 3 acquisition should increase CenturyLink’s geographic reach (the new company will serve some 350 metropolitan areas in more than 60 countries). He adds that the company has plenty of cash to support its mouth-watering dividend—the stock yields 8.9% annually. He rates the stock a “buy,” with a 12-month price target of $28.

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