company_name = CenturyTel Inc.
company_type = Public (NYSE|CTL)
company_slogan = Personal touch, advanced communications
foundation = 1930
location = Monroe, Louisiana, USA
key_people = Glen F. Post III, Chairman & CEO
num_employees = 6,900 (2005)
industry = Telecom Service - Domestic
products = Telephony, Broadband Internet
revenue = profit$2.479 Billion USD (2005)
homepage = [http://www.centurytel.com/ www.centurytel.com]

CenturyTel, Inc. (NYSE|CTL) formerly named Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc. is a United States telecommunications firm, headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana. A member of the S&P 500 index, the company primarily operates as a local exchange carrier and Internet service provider in rural markets in 26 states, and is the eighth-largest local exchange carrier in the U.S. in terms of lines served. It is also a reseller of long distance service.

Since its founding, it has grown in size by acquisitions. In 1998, it purchased 89,000 access lines and 19 exchanges in 21 northern Wisconsin communities from Ameritech. The affected customers had formerly been served by Wisconsin Bell. Ameritech's directory publishing operations serving those customers were also acquired. From 2000-2002, CenturyTel acquired Verizon's GTE assets in Missouri and Alabama. As of mid-2006 more than 52% of its customers had the choice of cable broadband and 19% had the choice of cable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services.

CenturyTel operates a fiber optic transport system connecting cities in 16 states in the central United States. It also offers long distance services, dial-up Internet access, high-speed DSL Internet connections, and database management, printing, electronic pre-press and fulfillment services.

The 26 states CenturyTel serves are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


The earliest predecessor of Century Telephone was the Oak Ridge Telephone Company, which was owned by F.E. Hogan, Sr. In 1930, Hogan sold the company, with 75 paid subscribers, to William Clarke and Marie Williams, for $500. They moved the switchboard to the Williams family front parlor. The company remained as a family-operated business until it became incorporated in 1968. [http://www.hedge-hog.com/sub/bells.html A Look At The Telecommunications Industry: The Best of The Independent Phone Companies] , Hedge-hog.com, by Gil Brown] [http://www.centurytel.com/about/companyProfile/companyTimeline.cfm CenturyTel Company Timeline] , CenturyTel.com]

In 1946, the Williams' son, Clarke McRae Williams, received ownership of the family's telephone company as a wedding gift.

Central Telephone and Electronics

By 1968, Oak Ridge Telephone Company served three states with 10,000 access lines. That year the company was incorporated as Central Telephone and Electronics. Clarke M. Williams served as president and chairman of the board.

Century Telephone Enterprises

In 1971 the company was renamed as Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc. In 1972, Century Telephone acquired the La Crosse Telephone Corporation, of Wisconsin.

Employees 6,600 (2007)

On October 24, 1978 Century Telephone moved to the New York Stock Exchange for the first time and began to trade under the ticker symbol CTL.

Century Telephone performed well during the long bear market of the 1970s, as its stock rose over fourfold. The company provided telephone service in parts of 14 states by that time.Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, various issues]

In 1982, Century Telephone's earnings peaked at US$14 million, then declined in 1983 following the early 1980s recession, and finally began to recover in 1984. However, the 1983 decline led to a loss of half the value of the company's stock in 1984.

In 1985, both earnings and the stock price had recovered to new record highs. But by then, the company had accumulated US$206 million in long-term debt.

In 1987, the stock price nearly doubled from its low that year, and from its old 1982 record high, before falling back by a third in the 1987 stock market crash. Earnings had steadily grown each year from their 1983 low, and by 1987 reached nearly US$20 million.

In 1989 Century Telephone Enterprises acquired Universal Telephone, Inc. for US$90 million in cash. During the late 1980s the company began a long trend in which it performed extremely well. The stock split three-for-two twice in this period, as earnings steadily grew, through the 1990-1991 recession, and by year-end 1991, they reached nearly US$40 million, double from what they had been in 1987.

In 1992, Century Telephone acquired Central Telephone Company of Ohio, a Centel subsidiary, for paid US$135 million. The acquisition served more than 65,000 access lines, and added 20% to Century's access line total. Also that year Glen F. Post, III became Chief Executive Officer and , named Vice Chairman of the Board of Century Telephone.

In 1993, Century Telephone revenues were over US$425 million, up from about US$350 million in 1992. 1993 earnings were nearly US$80 million, up from about US$70 million in 1992, excluding a nearly US$16 million charge in 1992 due to the cumulative effect from an accounting change that year. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405E4D61038F933A2575BC0A965958260 Century Telephone Enterprise Inc. reports earnings for Qtr to June 30] , New York Times Archives, Published: August 10, 1993] Also in 1993 the company split its stock three-for-two yet again. However, by then the company had accumulated nearly US$520 million in long-term debt.

By 1995, Century Telephone Enterprises had been added to the S&P MidCap 400 index. Earnings had continued their steady growth trend through the 1994 economic soft landing, and by 1995 they reached over US$115 million. But the long-term debt continued to grow as well, reaching US$623 million that year.

In 1997 Century Telephone acquired Delta Security Alarm Co., Inc. of Monroe, Louisiana, and its largest acquisition up until that time, Pacific Telcom, Inc., doubling its size with 660,000 additional telephone access lines in 12 states.

In 1998, Century Telephone split its stock three-for-two once again. The company acquired another Monroe, Louisiana security company, Century Protection Systems, and also acquired Ameritech's telephone and directory publishing operations in Wisconsin, adding another 89,000 access lines.


In 1999, the company was renamed as CenturyTel, Inc. It split its stock three-for-two once more, and was added to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index that year.

In 2000, CenturyTel acquired 230,500 GTE lines in Arkansas, and also also bought 127,000 GTE lines in Missouri in partnership with Spectra Communications. In Wisconsin, it acquired 133,000 additional lines, and 70,000 access lines for US$195 million from Verizon. That year CenturyTel also bought 62,650 lines for US$170 million in partnership with Telephone USA of Wisconsin, LLC.

In 2001, CenturyTel acquired CSW Net, Inc. of Russellville, Arkansas, and fended off a hostile take-over attempt by ALLTEL, Inc.

In 2002, the son of the company's original founder and Chairman of the Board Clarke M. Williams died. He was succeeded by then Vice Chairman Glen F. Post, III. The company sold its wireless business to ALLTEL, to become a pure-play rural local exchange carrier. Also that year CenturyTel acquired 300,000 Verizon access lines in Alabama, and 354,000 Verizon access lines in Missouri, bringing its total operations to 22 states with 2.5 million access lines.

In 2003, CenturyTel acquired half ownership of SkyComm International, Inc. in Houston, Texas, in March, to form a satellite teleport for its global Network Access Point (NAP) system. In June, CenturyTel also acquired the fiber network of Digital Teleport, Inc., a 5,700 mile route running from Illinois to Texas, and adjoining states. CenturyTel renamed the network company LightCore. Closing out the year, in December CenturyTel acquired the Midwest Fiber Optic Network (MFON) from Level 3 Communications, Inc. in December, a stand-alone system in the same core central states as LightCore.

In 2004, CenturyTel began a stock buyback of US$400 million. In August, it partnered with EchoStar Communications Corporation for DISH Network multi-channel digital TV. In September, CenturyTel began a relationship with Cingular Wireless.

In 2005, CenturyTel began a wireless voice and data service, and bought a number of fiber networks in the central United States, from KMC Telecom Holdings, Inc.

In 2006, CenturyTel sold its entire Arizona assets to Hopi Telecommunications, Inc., bringing total operations to 23 states.

At the [http://centurytel.com] Web site, visitors can research and sign up for services. Existing customers can manage their account, view and pay their bills and more. In late 2007, the Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their online customers, ranked CenturyTel the best among 6 leading communications providers


External links

* [http://www.centurytel.com/ CenturyTel]
* [http://www.centurytelyp.com/index.do CenturyTel online Yellow Pages]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • CenturyTel of the Midwest-Kendall — CenturyTel of the Midwest Kendall, LLC Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1989 Products Local Telephone Service Parent …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of Northwest Arkansas — CenturyTel of Northwest Arkansas, LLC Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1999 Headquarters Little Rock, AR, USA Products …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of Ohio — CenturyTel of Ohio, Inc. Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1977 Headquarters Lorain, OH, USA Products Local Telephone Serv …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of Adamsville — CenturyTel of Adamsville, Inc. Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1951 Products Local Telephone Service Parent …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of Arkansas — CenturyTel of Arkansas, Inc. Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1956 Products Local Telephone Service Parent …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of Colorado — CenturyTel of Colorado, Inc. Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1976 Headquarters Pagosa Springs, CO, USA Products Local Te …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of South Arkansas — CenturyTel of South Arkansas, Inc. Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1961 Products Local Telephone Service Parent …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of the Gem State — CenturyTel of the Gem State, Inc. Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1901 Products Local Telephone Service Parent …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of Alabama — CenturyTel of Alabama, LLC Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 2002 Headquarters Pell City, Alabama, USA Products Local Tele …   Wikipedia

  • CenturyTel of Central Indiana — CenturyTel of Central Indiana, Inc. Type Private (Subsidiary of CenturyLink) Industry Telecommunications Founded 1954 Headquarters Indiana, USA Products Local Telepho …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”