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What’s CenturyLink’s 2017 Capex Budget?

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CenturyLink’s capital expenditure

Now let’s evaluate CenturyLink’s (CTL) spending on capex. The telecom company continues to invest in capital expenditures to boost the network. In 3Q17, CenturyLink spent $0.8 billion on capex, up from $0.7 billion in 3Q16. The primary reason for this growth in capital expenditures was due to the investments in network to provide enhanced speeds as well as to boost fiber-optic connectivity to compete with Comcast (CMCSA), Frontier (FTR), and other top cable companies in the market.

Furthermore, CenturyLink’s management cited ongoing strength in Ethernet, SD-WAN (software defined WAN), and MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) products.

Expected capex investments in 2017

CenturyLink’s management projects it will spend $150 million above the previous guidance range of ~$2.6 billion on capital expenditures in the full-year 2017. Windstream (WIN) and Frontier are anticipated to spend ~$0.84 billion and ~$1.2 billion, respectively, on capital expenditures in the full-year 2017. However, the integrated US telecom players AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) anticipate spending ~$22.0 billion and ~$17.5 billion, respectively, on capital expenditures in 2017.

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