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CenturyLink Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results
Highlights
- Reported Net Income of $302 million for the third quarter 2019; excluding Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items, reported Net Income of $328 million
- Generated Adjusted EBITDA of $2.261 billion for the third quarter 2019, excluding Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items of $38 million
- Expanded Adjusted EBITDA margin, excluding Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items, to 40.3% in the third quarter 2019, from 39.3% in the third quarter 2018
- Generated Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities of $1.888 billion for the third quarter 2019
- Generated Free Cash Flow of $983 million for the third quarter 2019, excluding cash paid for Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items of $52 million
- Achieved approximately $360 million of annualized, run-rate Adjusted EBITDA synergy and transformation savings as of the end of the third quarter 2019
- Reiterated all full year 2019 financial outlook measures

MONROE, La., Nov. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today reported results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019.

CenturyLink logo (PRNewsfoto/CenturyLink, Inc.) (PRNewsfoto/CenturyLink, Inc.)

"CenturyLink continues investing in both growth and operational efficiency," said Jeff Storey, president and CEO of CenturyLink. "You can see the benefits of those investments with the year-over-year growth in Enterprise and International/Global Accounts business units, along with expansion of Adjusted EBITDA margins.  We remain committed to delivering an excellent customer experience while enhancing our product capabilities and expanding what I believe is the world's best fiber network."

Total revenue was $5.61 billion for the third quarter 2019, compared to $5.82 billion for the third quarter 2018.

Diluted earnings per share was $0.28 for the third quarter 2019, compared to $0.25 for third quarter 2018. Diluted earnings per share for the third quarter 2019 was $0.31 compared to $0.30 per share for the third quarter in 2018, excluding the aggregate effects of Integration and Transformation Costs and the Special Items of $26 million and $55 million, respectively.

Financial Results

Metric

Third
Quarter

2019

Third
Quarter

2018

($ in millions, except per share data)

International and Global Accounts

$

899

 

892

Enterprise

1,550

1,505

Small and Medium Business

734

785

Wholesale

1,025

1,097

Consumer

1,398

1,539

Total Revenue

$

5,606

 

5,818

Cost of Services and Products

2,590

2,672

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

831

967

Share-based Compensation Expenses

38

49

Adjusted EBITDA(1)

2,223

2,228

Adjusted EBITDA, Excluding Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items(1), (2)

2,261

2,287

Adjusted EBITDA Margin(1)

39.7%

38.3%

Adjusted EBITDA Margin, Excluding Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items(1), (2)

40.3%

39.3%

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities

1,888

1,787

Capital Expenditures

957

684

Unlevered Cash Flow(1)

1,382

1,612

Unlevered Cash Flow, Excluding Cash Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items(1), (3)

1,434

1,672

Free Cash Flow(1)

931

1,103

Free Cash Flow, Excluding Cash Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items(1), (3)

983

1,163

Net Income

302

272

Net Income, Excluding Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items(4)

328

327

Net Income per Common Share - Diluted

0.28

0.25

Net Income per Common Share - Diluted, Excluding Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items(4)

0.31

0.30

Weighted Average Shares Outstanding (in millions) - Diluted

1,074.8

1,072.4

     

(1)  See the attached schedules for definitions of non-GAAP metrics and reconciliation to GAAP figures.

 

(2)  Excludes (i) $38 million of integration and transformation costs and special items for the third quarter of 2019 and (ii) $59 million of integration costs and special items for the third quarter of 2018.

 

(3)  Excludes cash paid (i) for integration and transformation costs and special items of $52 million for the third quarter of 2019, and (ii) for integration costs and special items of $60 million for the third quarter of 2018.

 

(4)  Excludes (i) $26 million of integration and transformation costs and special items for the third quarter of 2019 and (ii) $55 million of integration costs and special items for the third quarter of 2018.

 

Revenue
($ in millions)

Third
Quarter

2019

 

Second
Quarter

2019

 

QoQ
Percent

Change

 

Third
Quarter

2018

 

YoY
Percent

Change

By Business Unit

           

International and Global Accounts

$

899

 

902

 

—%

 

892

 

1%

Enterprise

1,550

 

1,505

 

3%

 

1,505

 

3%

Small and Medium Business

734

 

736

 

—%

 

785

 

(6)%

Wholesale

1,025

 

1,018

 

1%

 

1,097

 

(7)%

Consumer

1,398

 

1,417

 

(1)%

 

1,539

 

(9)%

Total Revenue

$

5,606

 

5,578

 

1%

 

5,818

 

(4)%

Cash Flow

Free Cash Flow, excluding integration and transformation costs and special items, was $983 million in the third quarter 2019, compared to $1.163 billion in the third quarter 2018.

As of September 30, 2019, CenturyLink had cash and cash equivalents of $1.404 billion, which includes proceeds from Level 3 financing's 4.625% Senior Notes issued in the third quarter. In October, using those proceeds, the company paid down $400 million of debt and is scheduled to pay down an additional $600 million in December.

2019 Business Outlook

"Year-to-date, Adjusted EBITDA grew compared to the same period in 2018, driven by our continued focus on profitable revenue and cost transformation initiatives," said Neel Dev, CenturyLink's executive vice president and chief financial officer.  "We are pleased with our solid performance and are reiterating all of our financial outlook measures for the full year 2019."

Metric (1), (2)

2019 Outlook

Adjusted EBITDA

$9.00 billion to $9.20 billion

Free Cash Flow

$3.10 billion to $3.40 billion

Dividends (3)

$1.095 billion

Free Cash Flow after Dividends

$2.005 billion to $2.305 billion

GAAP Interest Expense

$2.100 billion

Cash Interest

$2.05 billion to $2.10 billion

Capital Expenditures

$3.50 billion to $3.80 billion

Depreciation and Amortization

$4.75 billion to $4.85 billion

Non-cash Compensation Expense

$210 million

Cash Income Taxes

$100 million

Full Year Effective Income Tax Rate

~25%

   

(1)  See the attached schedules for definitions of non-GAAP metrics and reconciliation to GAAP figures.

 

(2)  Outlook measures in this release and the accompanying schedules (i) exclude integration and transformation costs, (ii) exclude the effects of special items, future changes in our operating or capital allocation plans, unforeseen changes in regulation, laws or litigation, and other unforeseen events or circumstances impacting our financial performance and (iii) speak only as of November 6, 2019.  See "Forward Looking Statements" below.

 

(3)  Dividends is defined as dividends paid as disclosed in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.  Assumes payment of dividends at the rate of $1.00 per share per year, based on the number of shares outstanding on September 30, 2019.  Payments of all dividends are at the discretion of the board of directors.

 

Investor Call

 

CenturyLink's management will host a conference call at 5:00 p.m. ET today, November 6, 2019. The conference call will be streamed live over CenturyLink's website at ir.centurylink.com. Additional information regarding third quarter 2019 results, including the presentation management will review during the conference call, will be available on the Investor Relations website prior to the call. If you are unable to join the call via the Web, the call can be accessed live at +1 877-283-5643 (U.S. Domestic) or +1 312-281-1200 (International).

A telephone replay of the call will be available beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on November 6, 2019, and ending February 4, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. ET. The replay can be accessed by dialing +1 800-633-8284 (U.S. Domestic) or +1 402-977-9140 (International), reservation code 21931504. A webcast replay of the call will also be available on our website beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on November 6, 2019 and ending February 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. ET.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a technology leader delivering hybrid networking, cloud connectivity, and security solutions to customers located in more than 60 countries. Through its extensive global fiber network, CenturyLink provides secure and reliable services to meet the growing digital demands of businesses and consumers. CenturyLink strives to be the trusted connection to the networked world and is focused on delivering technology that enhances the customer experience.
Learn more at http://news.centurylink.com/.

Forward Looking Statements

Except for historical and factual information, the matters set forth in this release and other of our oral or written statements identified by words such as "estimates," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "plans," "intends," and similar expressions are forward-looking statements as defined by the federal securities laws, and are subject to the "safe harbor" protections thereunder. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are based on current expectations only, are inherently speculative, and are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control.  Actual events and results may differ materially from those anticipated, estimated, projected or implied by us in those statements if one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect. Factors that could affect actual results include but are not limited to: the effects of competition from a wide variety of competitive providers, including decreased demand for our more mature service offerings and increased pricing pressures; the effects of new, emerging or competing technologies, including those that could make our products less desirable or obsolete; our ability to attain our key operating imperatives, including simplifying and consolidating our network, simplifying and automating our service support systems, strengthening our relationships with customers and attaining projected cost savings; our ability to safeguard our network, and to avoid the adverse impact on our business from possible security breaches, service outages, system failures, equipment breakage or similar events impacting our network or the availability and quality of our services; the effects of ongoing changes in the regulation of the communications industry, including the outcome of regulatory or judicial proceedings relating to intercarrier compensation, interconnection obligations, special access, universal service, broadband deployment, data protection and net neutrality; our ability to effectively adjust to changes in the communications industry and changes in the composition of our markets and product mix; possible changes in the demand for our products and services, including our ability to effectively respond to increased demand for high-speed data transmission services; our ability to successfully maintain the quality and profitability of our existing product and service offerings and to introduce profitable new offerings on a timely and cost-effective basis; our ability to generate cash flows sufficient to fund our financial commitments and objectives, including our capital expenditures, operating costs, debt repayments, dividends, pension contributions and other benefits payments; our ability to implement our operating plans and corporate strategies, including our delevering strategies; changes in our operating plans, corporate strategies, dividend payment plans or other capital allocation plans, whether based upon changes in our cash flows, cash requirements, financial performance, financial position, market conditions or otherwise; our ability to effectively retain and hire key personnel and to successfully negotiate collective bargaining agreements on reasonable terms without work stoppages; the negative impact of increases in the costs of our pension, health, post-employment or other benefits, including those caused by changes in markets, interest rates, mortality rates, demographics or regulations; adverse changes in our access to credit markets on favorable terms, whether caused by changes in our financial position, lower debt credit ratings, unstable markets or otherwise; our ability to meet the terms and conditions of our debt obligations, including our ability to make transfers of cash in compliance therewith; our ability to maintain favorable relations with our key business partners, suppliers, vendors, landlords and financial institutions; our ability to collect our receivables from financially troubled customers; our ability to use our net operating loss carry forwards in the amounts projected; any adverse developments in legal or regulatory proceedings involving us; changes in tax, communications, pension, healthcare or other laws or regulations, in governmental support programs, or in general government funding levels; the effects of changes in accounting policies, practices or assumptions, including changes that could potentially require future additional impairment charges; the effects of adverse weather, terrorism or other natural or man-made disasters; adverse effects of material weaknesses or any other significant deficiencies identified in our internal controls over financial reporting; the effects of more general factors such as changes in interest rates, in exchange rates, in operating costs, in public policy, in the views of financial analysts or in general market, labor, economic or geo-political conditions; and other risks referenced from time to time in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC").  For all the reasons set forth above and in our SEC filings, you are cautioned not to unduly rely upon our forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future events or developments, changed circumstances, or otherwise. Furthermore, any information about our intentions contained in any of our forward-looking statements reflects our intentions as of the date of such forward-looking statement, and is based upon, among other things, existing regulatory, technological, industry, competitive, economic and market conditions, and our assumptions as of such date. We may change our intentions, strategies or plans without notice at any time and for any reason.

Reconciliation to GAAP

This release includes certain non-GAAP historical and forward-looking financial measures, including but not limited to Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow, unlevered cash flow, and adjustments to GAAP and non-GAAP measures to exclude the effect of integration and transformation costs and special items. In addition to providing key metrics for management to evaluate the company's performance, we believe these measurements assist investors in their understanding of period-to-period operating performance and in identifying historical and prospective trends.

Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP measures are included in the attached financial schedules. Reconciliation of additional non-GAAP historical financial measures that may be discussed during the call described above, along with further descriptions of non-GAAP financial measures, will be available in the Investor Relations portion of the company's website at ir.centurylink.com. Non-GAAP measures are not presented to be replacements or alternatives to the GAAP measures, and investors are urged to consider these non-GAAP measures in addition to, and not in substitution for, measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. CenturyLink may present or calculate its non-GAAP measures differently from other companies.

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

THREE AND NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 AND 2018

(UNAUDITED)

($ in millions, except per share amounts; shares in thousands)

                           
     

Three months ended
September 30,

 

Increase /
(decrease)

 

Nine months ended
September 30,

 

Increase /
(decrease)

     

2019

 

2018

   

2019

 

2018

 
                         

OPERATING REVENUE

 

$

5,606

 

5,818

 

(4)%

 

16,831

 

17,665

 

(5)%

                           

OPERATING EXPENSES

                       
 

Cost of services and products

 

2,590

 

2,672

 

(3)%

 

7,556

 

8,205

 

(8)%

 

Selling, general and administrative

 

831

 

967

 

(14)%

 

2,723

 

3,191

 

(15)%

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

1,235

 

1,285

 

(4)%

 

3,619

 

3,858

 

(6)%

 

Goodwill impairment

 

 

 

nm

 

6,506

 

 

nm

 

Total operating expenses

 

4,656

 

4,924

 

(5)%

 

20,404

 

15,254

 

34%

                           

OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)

 

950

 

894

 

6%

 

(3,573)

 

2,411

 

nm

                         

OTHER (EXPENSE) INCOME

                       
 

Interest expense

 

(496)

 

(557)

 

(11)%

 

(1,537)

 

(1,638)

 

(6)%

 

Other (expense) income, net

 

(44)

 

(8)

 

nm

 

(5)

 

29

 

(117)%

 

Income tax expense

 

(108)

 

(57)

 

89%

 

(377)

 

(123)

 

nm

NET INCOME (LOSS)

 

$

302

 

272

 

11%

 

(5,492)

 

679

 

nm

BASIC EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE

 

$

0.28

 

0.25

 

12%

 

(5.13)

 

0.64

 

nm

DILUTED EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE

 

$

0.28

 

0.25

 

12%

 

(5.13)

 

0.63

 

nm

                           

WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES OUTSTANDING

                       
 

Basic

 

1,072,543

 

1,066,904

 

1%

 

1,070,921

 

1,065,410

 

1%

 

Diluted

 

1,074,790

 

1,072,351

 

—%

 

1,070,921

 

1,069,726

 

—%

                           

DIVIDENDS PER COMMON SHARE

 

$

0.25

 

0.54

 

(54)%

 

0.75

 

1.62

 

(54)%

                         
 

Exclude: integration and transformation costs and special items(1)

 

26

 

55

 

(53)%

 

6,549

 

192

 

nm

                           

NET INCOME EXCLUDING INTEGRATION AND TRANSFORMATION COSTS AND SPECIAL ITEMS

 

$

328

 

327

 

—%

 

1,057

 

871

 

21%

                         

DILUTED EARNINGS PER SHARE EXCLUDING INTEGRATION AND TRANSFORMATION COSTS AND SPECIAL ITEMS

 

$

0.31

 

0.30

 

3%

 

0.99

 

0.81

 

22%

                           

(1) Excludes the integration and transformation costs and special items described in the Non-GAAP Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items table, net of the income tax effect thereof.

   
 

nm - Percentages greater than 200% and comparisons between positive and negative values are considered not meaningful.

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 AND DECEMBER 31, 2018

(UNAUDITED)

($ in millions)

 

September 30, 2019

 

December 31, 2018

ASSETS

     

CURRENT ASSETS

     

Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,404

   

488

 

Restricted cash

3

   

4

 

Other current assets

3,182

   

3,328

 

   Total current assets

4,589

   

3,820

 
       

PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT, Net of accumulated depreciation of $28,760 and $26,859

25,874

   

26,408

 
       

GOODWILL AND OTHER ASSETS

     

Goodwill

21,507

   

28,031

 

Operating lease assets (1)

1,721

   

 

Restricted cash

24

   

26

 

Other, net

11,013

   

11,971

 

    Total goodwill and other assets

34,265

   

40,028

 
       

TOTAL ASSETS

$

64,728

   

70,256

 
       

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

     

CURRENT LIABILITIES

     

Current maturities of long-term debt

$

1,744

   

652

 

Other current liabilities (1)

4,845

   

4,879

 

    Total current liabilities

6,589

   

5,531

 
       

LONG-TERM DEBT

33,381

   

35,409

 

DEFERRED CREDITS AND OTHER LIABILITIES (1)

11,084

   

9,488

 

STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

13,674

   

19,828

 
       

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

$

64,728

   

70,256

 
 

(1) The Company adopted Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2016-02, Leases (ASC 842) beginning January 1, 2019 and recorded operating lease assets and operating lease liabilities in its Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets for 2019.

 

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

 

NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 AND 2018

 

(UNAUDITED)

 

($ in millions)

         
   

Nine months ended

   

September 30, 2019

 

September 30, 2018

 

OPERATING ACTIVITIES

     
 

Net (Loss) Income

$

(5,492)

   

679

 
 

Adjustments to reconcile net (loss) income to net cash provided by operating activities:

     
 

   Depreciation and amortization

3,619

   

3,858

 
 

   Impairment of goodwill and other assets

6,516

   

46

 
 

   Deferred income taxes

350

   

486

 
 

   Provision for uncollectible accounts

116

   

119

 
 

   Net (gain) loss on early retirement of debt

(70)

   

30

 
 

   Share-based compensation

114

   

144

 
 

   Changes in current assets and liabilities, net

(464)

   

16

 
 

   Retirement benefits

(24)

   

(639)

 
 

   Changes in other noncurrent assets and liabilities, net

72

   

324

 
 

   Other, net

34

   

(27)

 
 

   Net cash provided by operating activities

4,771

   

5,036

 
 

INVESTING ACTIVITIES

     
 

   Capital expenditures

(2,688)

   

(2,260)

 
 

   Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets

54

   

125

 
 

   Other, net

(37)

   

(61)

 
 

   Net cash used in investing activities

(2,671)

   

(2,196)

 
 

FINANCING ACTIVITIES

     
 

   Net proceeds from issuance of long-term debt

988

   

130

 
 

   Payments of long-term debt

(1,459)

   

(1,539)

 
 

   Net proceeds on revolving line of credit

150

   

185

 
 

   Dividends paid

(829)

   

(1,735)

 
 

   Other, net

(37)

   

(48)

 
 

   Net cash used in financing activities

(1,187)

   

(3,007)

 
 

Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

913

   

(167)

 
 

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of period

518

   

587

 
 

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of period

$

1,431

   

420

 

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

OPERATING METRICS

(UNAUDITED)

(In thousands)

               
     

September 30, 2019

 

June 30, 2019

 

September 30, 2018

               

Operating Metrics

           

Consumer broadband subscribers

 

4,714

   

4,750

   

4,843

 
               
               
 

Consumer broadband subscribers are customers that purchase broadband connection service through their existing telephone lines, stand-alone telephone lines, or fiber-optic cables. Our methodology for counting our consumer broadband subscribers includes only those lines that we use to provide services to external customers and excludes lines used solely by us and our affiliates. It also excludes unbundled loops and includes stand-alone consumer broadband subscribers. We count lines when we install the service.

 

Description of Non-GAAP Metrics

 

Pursuant to Regulation G, the company is hereby providing definitions of non-GAAP financial metrics and reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP measures.

The following describes and reconciles those financial measures as reported under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) with those financial measures as adjusted by the items detailed below and presented in the accompanying news release. These calculations are not prepared in accordance with GAAP and should not be viewed as alternatives to GAAP. In keeping with its historical financial reporting practices, the company believes that the supplemental presentation of these calculations provides meaningful non-GAAP financial measures to help investors understand and compare business trends among different reporting periods on a consistent basis.

We use the term Special items as a non-GAAP measure to describe items that impacted a period's statement of operations for which investors may want to give special consideration due to their magnitude, nature or both. We do not call these items non-recurring because, while some are infrequent, others may recur in future periods.

Adjusted EBITDA ($) is defined as net income (loss) from the Statements of Operations before income tax (expense) benefit, total other income (expense), depreciation and amortization, share-based compensation expense and impairments.

Adjusted EBITDA Margin (%) is defined as Adjusted EBITDA divided by total revenue.

Management believes that Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin are relevant and useful metrics to provide to investors, as they are an important part of CenturyLink's internal reporting and are key measures used by Management to evaluate profitability and operating performance of CenturyLink and to make resource allocation decisions.  Management believes such measures are especially important in a capital-intensive industry such as telecommunications.  Management also uses Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin (and similarly uses these terms excluding integration and transformation costs) to compare CenturyLink's performance to that of its competitors and to eliminate certain non-cash and non-operating items in order to consistently measure from period to period its ability to fund capital expenditures, fund growth, service debt and determine bonuses.  Adjusted EBITDA excludes non-cash stock compensation expense and impairments because of the non-cash nature of these items. Adjusted EBITDA also excludes interest income, interest expense and income taxes, and in our view constitutes an accrual-based measure that has the effect of excluding period-to-period changes in working capital and shows profitability without regard to the effects of capital or tax structure. Adjusted EBITDA also excludes depreciation and amortization expense because these non-cash expenses primarily reflect the impact of historical capital investments, as opposed to the cash impacts of capital expenditures made in recent periods, which may be evaluated through cash flow measures.  Adjusted EBITDA excludes the gain (or loss) on extinguishment and modification of debt and other, net, because these items are not related to the primary operations of CenturyLink.

There are material limitations to using Adjusted EBITDA as a financial measure, including the difficulty associated with comparing companies that use similar performance measures whose calculations may differ from CenturyLink's calculations. Additionally, this financial measure does not include certain significant items such as interest income, interest expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, non-cash stock compensation expense, the gain (or loss) on extinguishment and modification of debt and net other income (expense). Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin (either with or without integration and transformation costs adjustments and special items) should not be considered a substitute for other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with GAAP.

Unlevered Cash Flow is defined as net cash provided by (used in) operating activities less capital expenditures, plus cash interest paid and less interest income all as disclosed in the Statements of Cash Flows or the Statements of Operations. Management believes that Unlevered Cash Flow is a relevant metric to provide to investors, because it reflects the operational performance of CenturyLink and, measured over time, provides management and investors with a sense of the underlying business' growth pattern and ability to generate cash.  Unlevered Cash Flow excludes cash used for acquisitions and debt service and the impact of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents balances.

There are material limitations to using Unlevered Cash Flow to measure CenturyLink's cash performance as it excludes certain material items such as payments on and repurchases of long-term debt, interest income, cash interest expense and cash used to fund acquisitions. Comparisons of CenturyLink's Unlevered Cash Flow to that of some of its competitors may be of limited usefulness since CenturyLink does not currently pay a significant amount of income taxes due to net operating loss carryforwards, and therefore, currently generates higher cash flow than a comparable business that does pay income taxes. Additionally, this financial measure is subject to variability quarter over quarter as a result of the timing of payments related to accounts receivable and accounts payable and capital expenditures. Unlevered Cash Flow should not be used as a substitute for net change in cash and cash equivalents in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.

Free Cash Flow is defined as net cash provided by (used in) operating activities less capital expenditures as disclosed in the Statements of Cash Flows. Management believes that Free Cash Flow is a relevant metric to provide to investors, as it is an indicator of the CenturyLink's ability to generate cash to service its debt. Free Cash Flow excludes cash used for acquisitions, principal repayments and the impact of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents balances.

There are material limitations to using Free Cash Flow to measure CenturyLink's performance as it excludes certain material items such as principal payments on and repurchases of long-term debt and cash used to fund acquisitions. Comparisons of CenturyLink's Free Cash Flow to that of some of its competitors may be of limited usefulness since CenturyLink does not currently pay a significant amount of income taxes due to net operating loss carryforwards, and therefore, generates higher cash flow than a comparable business that does pay income taxes. Additionally, this financial measure is subject to variability quarter over quarter as a result of the timing of payments related to interest expense, accounts receivable and accounts payable and capital expenditures. Free Cash Flow should not be used as a substitute for net change in cash and cash equivalents on the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

Non-GAAP Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items

(UNAUDITED)

($ in millions)

       
 

Actual QTD

 

Actual YTD

Integration and Transformation Costs(1) and Special Items Impacting Adjusted EBITDA

3Q19

3Q18

 

3Q19

3Q18

Consumer litigation settlement

$

 

   

15

 

 

OTT/Stream impairment of content commitment and hardware, software, and internal labor

 

18

   

 

60

 

Total special items impacting adjusted EBITDA

 

18

   

15

 

60

 

Plus: integration and transformation costs

38

 

41

   

111

 

266

 

Total integration and transformation costs and special items impacting adjusted EBITDA

$

38

 

59

   

126

 

326

 
           
 

Actual QTD

 

Actual YTD

Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items Impacting Net Income (Loss)

3Q19

3Q18

 

3Q19

3Q18

Consumer litigation settlement

$

 

   

15

 

 

Impairment of goodwill

 

   

6,506

 

 

OTT/Stream impairment of content commitment and hardware, software, and internal labor

 

18

   

 

60

 

(Gain) loss on early debt retirement

(4)

 

33

   

(70)

 

33

 

Total special items impacting net income (loss)

(4)

 

51

   

6,451

 

93

 

Plus: integration and transformation costs

38

 

43

   

111

 

276

 

Total integration and transformation costs and special items impacting net income (loss)

34

 

94

   

6,562

 

369

 

Income tax effect of integration and transformation costs and special items (2)

(8)

 

(19)

   

(13)

 

(91)

 

Tax benefit from carryback losses

 

   

 

(142)

 

Impact of tax reform

 

7

   

 

83

 

FIN 48 release due to statute expiration

 

(27)

   

 

(27)

 

Total integration and transformation costs and special items impacting net income (loss), net of tax

$

26

 

55

   

6,549

 

192

 
           

(1) Represents (i) for the third quarter of 2019, the cost of obtaining the synergy and transformations savings over 2019-2021 that the Company discussed in its February 13, 2019 earnings release and (ii) for the third quarter of 2018, the cost of obtaining the acquisition-related synergies that the Company captured between November 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018 following the combination of CenturyLink and Level 3.

 

(2) Tax effect calculated using the annualized effective statutory tax rate, excluding any non-recurring discrete items, which was 24.6% for Q3 2018 and 24.3% for Q3 2019.

 

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

 

Non-GAAP Cash Flow Reconciliation

 

(UNAUDITED)

 

($ in millions)

         
 

3Q19

 

3Q18

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

1,888

     

1,787

 

Capital expenditures

(957)

     

(684)

 

Free cash flow

931

     

1,103

 

Cash interest paid

456

     

512

 

Interest income

(5)

     

(3)

 

Unlevered cash flow

$

1,382

     

1,612

 
         

Free cash flow

$

931

     

1,103

 

Add back: cash integration and transformation costs

52

     

57

 

Add back: special items

     

3

 

Free cash flow excluding cash integration and transformation costs and special items

$

983

     

1,163

 
         

Unlevered cash flow

$

1,382

     

1,612

 

Add back: cash integration and transformation costs

52

     

57

 

Add back: special items

     

3

 

Unlevered cash flow excluding cash integration and transformation costs and special items

$

1,434

     

1,672

 

 

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

 

Adjusted EBITDA Non-GAAP Reconciliation

 

(UNAUDITED)

 

($ in millions)

   
 

3Q19

3Q18

Net income

$

302

   

272

 

Income tax expense

108

   

57

 

Total other expense, net

540

   

565

 

Depreciation and amortization expense

1,235

   

1,285

 

Share-based compensation expense

38

   

49

 

Adjusted EBITDA

$

2,223

   

2,228

 
         

Add back: integration and transformation costs(1)

$

38

   

41

 

Add back: special items (1)

   

18

 

Adjusted EBITDA excluding integration and transformation costs and special items

$

2,261

   

2,287

 
         

Total revenue

$

5,606

   

5,818

 
         

Adjusted EBITDA margin

39.7%

   

38.3%

 

Adjusted EBITDA margin excluding integration and transformation costs and special items

40.3%

   

39.3%

 
   

(1) Refer to Non-GAAP Integration and Transformation Costs and Special Items table for details of the integration and transformation costs and special items included above.

Outlook

To enhance the information in our outlook with respect to non-GAAP metrics, we are providing a range for certain GAAP measures that are components of the reconciliation of the non-GAAP metrics. The provision of these ranges is in no way meant to indicate that CenturyLink is explicitly or implicitly providing an outlook on those GAAP components of the reconciliation. In order to reconcile the non-GAAP financial metric to GAAP, CenturyLink has to use ranges for the GAAP components that arithmetically add up to the non-GAAP financial metric. While CenturyLink feels reasonably comfortable about the outlook for its non-GAAP financial metrics, it fully expects that the ranges used for the GAAP components will vary from actual results. We will consider our outlook of non-GAAP financial metrics to be accurate if the specific non-GAAP metric is met or exceeded, even if the GAAP components of the reconciliation are different from those provided in an earlier reconciliation.

 

CenturyLink, Inc.

 
 

2019 OUTLOOK (1)

 
 

(UNAUDITED)

 
 

($ in millions)

 
           

Adjusted EBITDA Outlook

         

Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2019

         
   

Range

 
 

Low

 

High

Net loss

$

(5,320)

     

(4,850)

 

Income tax expense

400

     

550

 

Total other expense

2,100

     

1,900

 

Depreciation and amortization expense

4,850

     

4,750

 

Non-cash compensation expense

220

     

200

 

Goodwill impairment

6,500

     

6,500

 

Integration and transformation costs

250

     

150

 

Adjusted EBITDA

$

9,000

     

9,200

 
           
           

Free Cash Flow Outlook

         

Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2019

         
   

Range

 
 

Low

 

High

Net cash provided by operating activities

$

6,900

     

6,900

 

Capital expenditures

(3,800)

     

(3,500)

 

Free cash flow

$

3,100

     

3,400

 
 

(1) Footnotes (1) and (2) from the outlook table included at page 4 are incorporated herein by reference.

 

 

SOURCE CenturyLink, Inc.

For further information: Media Relations, Tracey Lucas, tracey.lucas@centurylink.com, +1 720-888-4443 or Investor Relations, Mark Stoutenberg, mark.stoutenberg@centurylink.com, +1 720-888-1662