CenturyLink (CTL -20.1%) crashes after getting hit with 6 downgrades in response to its Q4 miss,...

|By:, SA News Editor

CenturyLink (CTL -20.1%) crashes after getting hit with 6 downgrades in response to its Q4 miss, light guidance, and dividend cut, and is taking other high-yield rural telcos down with it. FTR -5%. WIN -7.5%. CNSL -2%. Citi, which is cutting CTL to Neutral and FTR to Sell, argues CTL's dividend cut shows the need for telcos to maintain balance sheet flexibility during a time of slow growth, strong competition, and eroding wireline voice revenue. The firm notes CTL's guidance now implies 2015 free cash flow of $3.60-$4/share, well below Citi's prior estimates. (transcript)