CenturyLink Adopts Extended Employee Benefits for COVID-19

CenturyLink, Inc. CTL has adopted some concrete steps to offer immediate relief and protection to its employees as the world strives hard to fight the coronavirus menace. The strategic move seems to be the need of the hour as the deadly virus attack has dealt a severe economic blow across the globe.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, CenturyLink is voluntarily providing 80 hours of emergency paid time off (PTO) to its entire U.S. workforce, in addition to all the existing allotments of paid time off, sick leave, and other company-provided paid and unpaid leaves. Although it is not legally bound to offer such benefits under the recently enacted "Families First Coronavirus Response Act", as larger firms like CenturyLink fall beyond its coverage, it is extending such benefits for the overall wellbeing of the employees. The largesse is further extended to its Canada-based employees to the extent of 75 hours of PTO.

At the same time, the company is offering work-from-home options to 75% of its global workforce who do not require an active onsite presence. CenturyLink has even waived the mandatory one-year waiting period for all its employees to avail the short-term disability benefits, while enabling the long-term disability benefit scheme after the immediate expiry of short-term disability benefits.

CenturyLink has also joined the FCC-initiated "Keep Americans Connected Pledge". Per the 60-day pledge, telecom service providers will not be able to terminate their service for residential or small businesses for non-payment of bills and waive any late payment fees due to the economic impact of the virus. At the same time, the government directive has asked telecom firms to provide access to public Wi-Fi spots to the masses to stay connected during this crisis period.

Moving forward, the company remains committed to supporting customers as they shift to next-generation hybrid platforms to meet their networking needs. Driven by the strength of one of the world’s largest and most interconnected networks, CenturyLink is confident of offering seamless, consistent and reliable connectivity despite an upsurge in broadband demand.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has lost 27.7% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 12.4%.

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI, Viasat Inc. VSAT and Qualcomm Incorporated QCOM, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.  

Motorola has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8.5%. It delivered a positive earnings surprise of 6.6%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Viasat surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average positive surprise being 402%.

Qualcomm has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 18.9%. It delivered a positive earnings surprise of 10%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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