Consolidated Communications (CNSL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Strong-Buy

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Tuesday. They currently have $16.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. offers a wide range of telecommunications services including local and long distance telephone, Digital Phone, High-Speed Internet access and Digital TV to individuals and businesses in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The company also offers telephone directory publishing services, wholesale transport services, billing and collection services, inside wiring services, and maintenance services. Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. is headquartered in Mattoon, Illinois. “

CNSL has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Consolidated Communications from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Consolidated Communications from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Consolidated Communications currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $13.67.

CNSL traded down $0.56 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $13.23. The stock had a trading volume of 532,248 shares, compared to its average volume of 771,837. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.71, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.78. Consolidated Communications has a twelve month low of $10.31 and a twelve month high of $14.65.

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported ($0.09) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.05. The company had revenue of $348.06 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $345.10 million. Consolidated Communications had a net margin of 4.46% and a negative return on equity of 4.56%. Consolidated Communications’s quarterly revenue was down 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Consolidated Communications will post -0.41 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 15th will be given a $0.387 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, January 14th. This represents a $1.55 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 11.70%. Consolidated Communications’s dividend payout ratio is presently 596.15%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Consolidated Communications by 85.5% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 10,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $126,000 after buying an additional 4,700 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its position in shares of Consolidated Communications by 12.7% in the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 44,628 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $553,000 after buying an additional 5,044 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in shares of Consolidated Communications by 36.5% in the 2nd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 25,453 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $315,000 after buying an additional 6,800 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in shares of Consolidated Communications by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 976,101 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,728,000 after buying an additional 6,929 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in shares of Consolidated Communications by 4.8% in the 3rd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 170,956 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,229,000 after buying an additional 7,789 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.55% of the company’s stock.

About Consolidated Communications

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides various integrated communications services to business and residential customers in the United States. It offers a range of communication services and products that include local and long-distance, high-speed broadband Internet access, video, voice over Internet protocol, private line, custom calling features, security, cloud, data center, managed and IT, and directory publishing services, as well as engages in equipment sales activities.

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