CenturyLink, Inc. ($CTL): ROA -0.107136 Suggests Potential Moves Ahead

{csv|m:251|id:21|s:Company}} (CTL) is boasting an Return on Assets number of -0.107136. ROA tells an investor how much after-tax profit a company generated for each $1 in assets. In other words, ROA measures a company’s net earnings in relation to all of the resources it had at its disposal—the shareholders’ capital plus short and long-term borrowed funds. Thus, return on assets is the most stringent test of return to shareholders. 

As any seasoned investor knows, markets can move up or down in the blink of an eye. Investors who attempt to beat the market without creating a plan may find themselves grasping at straws down the line. Building a plan that included the right level of risk may be different for every individual. Managing risk and staying on top of the stock portfolio can help investors ride out the storm when it eventually rolls in. Anybody who manages their own portfolio knows that it can be extremely challenging at times. Finding a consistent process that works when markets become volatile can be a big help to the investor. Controlling emotions and conducting the necessary research can help the investor make the difficult decisions when they crop up.

FCF on Debt

Another ratio S&P Analyst Richard Tortoriello recommends to use is ‘Free Cash Flow to debt’. (‘Quantitative Strategies for Achieving Alpha’) This ratio shows how long it would take a company to pay back its debt using its current level of free cash flow. In his study, Tortoriello found that investing in the top 20% companies with the highest FCF/debt ratio generated substantially higher returns compared to the market.

Formula:

FCF on Debt = (Cash Flow from Operations−Capital Expenditure) / Total Debt

The FCF on debt number for CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) stands at 0.08644.

Net Debt to Market Cap

This ratio gives a sense of how much debt a company has relative to its market value. Companies with high debt levels compared to their peers can be volatile. We calculate it as follows:

Net Debt to Market Cap = (Total Debt−Cash and ST Investments) / Market Cap

CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) has a net debt to market cap ratio of 0.08644.

FCF

Free Cash Flow Growth (FCF Growth) is the free cash flow of the current year minus the free cash flow from the previous year, divided by last year’s free cash flow. The FCF Yield of CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) is 0.064582. Free cash flow (FCF) is the cash produced by the company minus capital expenditure. This cash is what a company uses to meet its financial obligations, such as making payments on debt or to pay out dividends. The 5 Year FCF Yield of CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) is 0.042485. Experts say the higher the value, the better, as it means that the free cash flow is high, or the variability of free cash flow is low or both.

Most investors are more familiar with P/B or Price-to-book. This is just the inverted value.

Price-to-Book Ratio = Market Cap divided by Common Shareholders Equity

Market watchers may also be following some quality ratios for CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL). Robert Novy-Marx, a professor at the university of Rochester, discovered that gross profitability – a quality factor – has as much power predicting stock returns as traditional value metrics. He found that while other quality measures had some predictive power, especially on small caps and in conjunction with value measures, gross profitability generates significant excess returns as a stand alone strategy, especially on large cap stocks.The Gross profitability for (CTL) is 0.207461.
M-Score (Beneish)

The M-Score, conceived by accounting professor Messod Beneish, is a model for detecting whether a company has manipulated their earnings numbers or not. CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) has an M-Score of -3.39149. The M-Score is based on 8 different variables: Days’ sales in receivables index, Gross Margin Index, Asset Quality Index, Sales Growth Index, Depreciation Index, Sales, General and Administrative expenses Index, Leverage Index and Total Accruals to Total Assets. A score higher than -1.78 is an indicator that the company might be manipulating their numbers.

Checking in on some valuation rankings, CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL) has a Value Composite score of 15. Developed by James O’Shaughnessy, the VC score uses five valuation ratios. These ratios are price to earnings, price to cash flow, EBITDA to EV, price to book value, and price to sales. The VC is displayed as a number between 1 and 100. In general, a company with a score closer to 0 would be seen as undervalued, and a score closer to 100 would indicate an overvalued company. Adding a sixth ratio, shareholder yield, we can view the Value Composite 2 score which is currently sitting at 9.

Investors may be trying to gauge the current business cycle phase and how that could potentially impact the portfolio. Business cycles can be one way to analyze portfolio performance. Early on in the cycle, profits tend to grow rapidly, sales tend to improve, and activity rebounds. In the middle of a cycle, growth may be peaking, strong credit growth may still be seen, and policy may swing neutral. Toward the later stages, growth may be moderate, earnings may come under pressure, and credit may tighten. Heading into a period of recession, credit may completely dry up, profits may decline sharply, and there may be policy easing. Investors will often have to adjust portfolio holdings that reflect the current state of a business cycle.

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