In mid-April, CenturyLink (CTL) announced the successful completion of the debt tender offer begun on March 21, 2012 by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qwest (delisted as of April 4, 2012). CenturyLink is adding Qwest to its previous acquisitions of Embarq in 2009 and Savvis in 2011. CenturyLink’s acquisitions have driven it to its current position as the third largest telecommunications corporation in the U.S. These acquisitions are more than offsetting its revenue loss from CenturyLink’s departing landline phone customers while diversifying its product lines, which now include landline phones, television, high speed internet, data hosting and colocation.
Competitors By The Numbers
CenturyLink is not currently participating in wireless voice and data, as its competitors are, but I would not be surprised if it moved into this space, which it would most likely do with another acquisition. Growing demand for high speed internet on mobile and home devices is propping up CenturyLink’s revenue, as landline phones, once CenturyLink’s primary business, fall out of favor. CenturyLink also adds revenue through the 70,000 subscribers to its Prism TV services in select markets (five markets, as of the 2011 fourth quarter earnings report).
CenturyLink had 5.5 million high speed internet customers as of December 31, 2011. By comparison, as of April 19, 2012, Verizon (VZ) had 5 million subscribers to its FiOS internet service and a further 8.8 million subscribers to its DSL internet service. CenturyLink has catching up to do, but then again, its market cap is much smaller: $23.4 billion compared to Verizon’s $109.6 billion. For further comparison, AT&T (T) has 16.4 million broadband customers and a $182.2 billion market cap.To continue reading, click here.