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CenturyLink Strengthens Research Consortium With Internet2

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Reinforcing the long-standing partnership, CenturyLink, Inc. CTL recently collaborated with Internet2 to enhance the research and education community of the United States. The companies intend to provide unparalleled amount of network capacity with top-notch research infrastructure to meet the dynamic needs of various educational institutions.

With more than 70 national research and networking partners, Internet2 is a non-profit U.S. computer networking community that provides a collaborative environment for research organizations to solve dynamic technology challenges and develop state-of-the-art solutions. It delivers advanced and customized services that are accessible to 321 universities, 43 regional and state education networks and 60 government agencies in the United States.

Per the agreement, Internet2 will leverage CenturyLink’s low-loss optic fiber to enhance its fiber-optic network performance. In addition, the amalgamated technology will entail the use of flex-grid open line systems from Ciena Corporation CIEN to optimize CenturyLink’s network for high-capacity requirements, thereby bolstering next-gen optical infrastructure for the development of the education and research community. The fiber agreement, which is expected to continue to at least 2042, is also likely to reduce network complexity and improve the efficacy of both installation and ongoing operations.

Markedly, CenturyLink is gradually shifting focus from integration to transformation efforts in order to fortify its position in the global market. The communications company intends to transform its business operations through product evolution and digitizing of customer interactions, which portends well for top-line growth.

The company has enhanced broadband speed and invests continuously in network development, fiber-to-the-tower expansion and fiber-based backhaul services. It expects its Managed Office and Managed Enterprise solutions to consistently gain traction and boost revenues driven by burgeoning demands from small and large business customers.

Currently, it is focused on bringing improved operational efficiencies through various methods, including network simplification and rationalization, which would aid in improving its end-to-end provisioning time and drive standardization. Strong network capabilities, integrated hosting and network solutions are likely to promote growth in its cloud business.

CenturyLink has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 7.4%. The stock has gained 5.2% compared with the industry’s rise of 0.6% quarter to date.


Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

CenturyLink has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM - Free Report) and Ubiquiti Inc. UI, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Qualcomm exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 8.7%.

Ubiquiti outpaced the consensus mark thrice in the trailing four quarters, the average positive earnings surprise being 16.1%.

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