CenturyLink's New Mesh Delivery Platform to Manage Traffic

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CenturyLink, Inc.CTL has entered into an agreement with Streamroot - a leading provider of video delivery technologies for media groups and enterprise customers - to address subscribers' burgeoning demand for over-the-top (OTT) digital platforms.

According to this global deal, the communications company intends to integrate Streamroot's peer-to-peer networking solutions with its content delivery network (CDN) in a bid to offer customers an upper hand in providing superior user experience. The move is likely to give a solid OTT delivery solution to broadcasters, while bringing in a new standard for large-scale video delivery to audiences.

Dubbed CenturyLink CDN Mesh Delivery, this avant-garde platform leverages a software-based mesh network to seamlessly manage peak traffic loads. The solution unifies the advantages of a global content delivery network with the scalability of a distributed mesh architecture. Remarkably, the company's new mesh delivery platform sources video content from both a CDN and mesh network of devices for the same stream.

In addition, CenturyLink is shifting focus from integration to transformation. It aims to transform business operations through product evolution and digitizing of customer interactions, which augurs well for top-line growth. The company seeks to generate healthy revenues in its business markets.

The company expects the scale of its global assets alongside an innovative product portfolio to be accretive to earnings. It has long-term earnings growth expectation of 12.7%. It is also working with customers to enable their 5G roadmaps while extending its fiber footprint. CenturyLink aims to return significant cash to its shareholders while investing in revenues and EBITDA growth drivers.

However, the stock has recorded an average loss of 28% against the industry 's rise of 5.6% in the past year. The downslide can be largely attributable to slower sales trend and higher operating expenses on account of goodwill impairment. The company's debt-laden balance sheet is worrisome. As of Dec 31, 2018, it had $488 million in cash and equivalents with $35,409 million of long-term debt.

It is to be seen if such in-demand solution offerings to enterprise customers can boost profitably in the coming days. For full-year 2019, the company expects adjusted EBITDA of $9.00-$9.20 billion. While free cash flow is expected in the range of $3.10-$3.40 billion, free cash flow after dividends is projected between $2.025 billion and $2.325 billion.

Currently, CenturyLink carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A few other top-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. UBNT , Motorola Solutions, Inc. MSI and Calix, Inc. CALX . While Ubiquiti sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Motorola and Calix carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Ubiquiti has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 20.4%.

Motorola has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%.

Calix has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 6%.

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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.

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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