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CenturyLink (CTL) Secures 2-Year ISP Contract From Quilt

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CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL - Free Report) recently secured a two-year contract as an authorized commercial Internet service provider (ISP) from The Quilt, a national coalition of non-profit regional networks for research and education across the United States.

Quilt represents 40 networks across the country and provides advanced network services and applications to more than 900 universities and thousands of other educational institutions. It combines regional research and education networks to develop, deploy and operate advanced secure cyberinfrastructure, which in turn, enables innovation in research and education.

The Quilt Community collectively purchases 765 Gbps of committed commodity bandwidth from Quilt-approved providers.

CenturyLink participated in the competitive RFP (request for proposal) process, which focused on IP transit providers that are at the forefront of technology and offer the best value to Quilt members.

CenturyLink has been an authorized Quilt provider since 2002. The company has a history of providing research and education networks with advanced technology solutions that meet the Quilt members' increasing bandwidth needs, including providing 100 gigabit service.

It provides research and education institutions with the required security and reliability by supplying cybersecurity, cloud, managed hosting and IT services over its carrier-class network.

With such coveted contracts, CenturyLink continues to maintain its leading position as a provider of secure, best-in-class network solutions to large educational institutions and public consortiums.

Over the past six months, the stock has significantly outperformed the industry with an average return of 19.9% against a decline of 7.4% for the latter. Management believes that the company has ample business growth opportunities, which will help to drive long-term shareholder value.

Moreover, CenturyLink’s strong network capabilities, integrated hosting and network solutions are likely to promote growth in the cloud business. The company sees its managed and cloud services as a key differentiator from other players in the market, which should boost its top line, going forward.

CenturyLink currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the industry include BlackBerry Limited (BB - Free Report) , Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI - Free Report) and Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. (UBNT - Free Report) . While BlackBerry sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Motorola Solutions and Ubiquiti Networks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

BlackBerry has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 18.6%. It exceeded earnings estimates twice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 500%.   

Motorola Solutions has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8%. It beat earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 12.1%.   

Ubiquiti Networks has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 18.6%. It exceeded earnings estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 8.9%.    

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