Lumen Technologies Stock Rises by 17.16% – Will it go Higher?

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Written By Nathan Goldstein

Lumen Technologies (LUMN) has performed very similarly to the S&P 500 since October last year, having risen by approximately 17.16%.

This performance closely mirrors that of the S&P 500 Index.

In October last year, the company’s financial progress was stagnant. However, the focus now shifts to the latest results and the effectiveness of the turnaround plan introduced by CEO Kate Johnson.

FY2023 Financials and Corporate Developments

Lumen Technologies, with its business model segmented into Business (79% of total revenue) and Mass Markets (21%), has continued to face challenges.

The Q4 FY2023 report highlighted a 7.4% year-on-year revenue decline, aligning with a trend of organic shrinkage but still outperforming Wall Street analysts’ expectations.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Despite surpassing forecasts, the company’s adjusted earnings per share and a strategic debt restructuring move in January 2024 to extend most debt maturities to 2029 and beyond have yet to translate into significant financial improvement.

This restructuring provided $1.325 billion of net new financing and access to a new ~$1 billion revolving credit facility, aiming for greater financial flexibility and stability.

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Analyzing the Financial Position

The introduction of new leadership and financial strategies has not markedly improved Lumen’s financial stance.

Negative EBIT was reported for the first time in several quarters, highlighting the growing operating expenses and falling bottom line margin despite a minor gross profit margin increase in Q4 FY2023.

The debt burden continues to loom large on Lumen’s balance sheet, with leverage ratios expanding and hindering the company’s path to stability.

Liquidity, Debt, and Market Response

The agreement for additional liquidity and the absence of share buybacks in 2023 have slightly enhanced the company’s liquidity ratios.

However, this added liquidity, against the backdrop of stagnant growth and unimproved margins, does little to address the core issues.

Despite reduced credit risk, as indicated by the market value of its debt improving in recent weeks, the primary focus of this analysis remains on the ordinary shares of Lumen Technologies, which may see short-term positive reactions due to risk reduction but face long-term fundamental challenges.

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Valuation and Dividends

Lumen Technologies appears inexpensive based on sales and EBITDA-related ratios, including the forward price-to-cash flow ratio.

Yet, the absence of earnings-related metrics, due to expected negative earnings per share in the coming years, paints a more comprehensive picture of the company’s valuation concerns.

The optimism reflected in the FY2026 forecasts may be overly ambitious, considering the persistent debt obligations and uncertain turnaround prospects.

Exercising Caution Before Committing to LUMN Stock

The examination of Lumen Technologies post-two quarters since the last update reveals a company struggling to manifest significant improvements despite strategic initiatives.

Credit: DepositPhotos

The structural issues plaguing Lumen cannot be resolved swiftly, and the current analysis advises investors to hold off on augmenting their positions until tangible progress in sales, margins, and debt reduction is evident.

While speculative investors might be tempted by potential short-term gains, those seeking long-term investment should await concrete evidence of a genuine turnaround before committing to LUMN stock.

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