Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday.

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. “

Several other research analysts have also recently commented on CNSL. BidaskClub raised Consolidated Communications from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday. Wells Fargo & Co cut Consolidated Communications from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $13.50 to $11.25 in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. Finally, Raymond James cut Consolidated Communications from a strong-buy rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $13.63.

CNSL opened at $10.44 on Wednesday. Consolidated Communications has a 12 month low of $8.51 and a 12 month high of $14.23. The firm has a market cap of $743.19 million, a P/E ratio of -24.86 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a quick ratio of 0.70, a current ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.54.

Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported ($0.10) EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.11) by $0.01. Consolidated Communications had a negative return on equity of 5.80% and a negative net margin of 3.63%. The firm had revenue of $344.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $340.90 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.04) EPS. Consolidated Communications’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Consolidated Communications will post -0.4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, April 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.3874 per share. This represents a $1.55 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 14.84%. This is an increase from Consolidated Communications’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, April 12th. Consolidated Communications’s payout ratio is -369.05%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in CNSL. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in Consolidated Communications by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,366,902 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $29,255,000 after buying an additional 21,905 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System lifted its holdings in Consolidated Communications by 9.5% during the 3rd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 103,362 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,348,000 after buying an additional 8,973 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in Consolidated Communications by 0.7% during 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 during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Consolidated Communications by 7.8% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 117,074 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,527,000 after buying an additional 8,520 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers lifted its holdings in Consolidated Communications by 4.8% during 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 during the last quarter. 70.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Consolidated Communications Company Profile

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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