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Lumen (LUMN) Wins $1.2B Contract, Revamps USDA's IT Services

Lumen Technologies, Inc. LUMN has clinched a network services contract worth more than $1.2 billion from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). Per this 11-year task order, Lumen will be responsible for deploying a fully integrated wide-area data transport service across the United States and abroad, thereby securely revamping USDA's IT services.

Lumen will capitalize on its avant-garde edge computing architecture and vast fiber connectivity to provide cloud connectivity and contact center solutions to more than 9,500 USDA locations. Boasting a long history of working with various government organizations, Lumen aims to introduce advanced technology solutions while facilitating USDA to bolster economic development and conserve America’s natural resources as part of the latest contract.

The task order includes 10 one-year options and has an initial term through Sep 30, 2022. Markedly, the deal was awarded to Lumen under the General Services Administration's 15-year, $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions program. It is worth mentioning that Lumen platform's edge computing architecture will aid USDA in collecting and analyzing data closer to the edge of the network with secure remote access. As a result, this will significantly save bandwidth and minimize latency.

As part of this agreement, Lumen will deliver managed security, voice and managed network offerings with speeds up to 100 Gbps. Some of these are zero-trust networking solutions, virtual private network services, unified communications and collaboration solutions, optical wavelength solutions, software-defined wide area network services (SD-WAN) and ethernet transport. These robust solutions will allow around 100,000 USDA employees to manage forestry and rural economic development and vital farming services with utmost efficiency.

Lumen’s fiber and IP-based network capacity positions it well to support customers and boost shareholders’ value in the long term. The company is likely to capitalize on key opportunities, such as data security, IoT, Big Data, 5G, AI and edge computing for revenue growth. The company aims to transform its business operations through product evolution and digitization of customer interactions, which augurs well for revenue growth.

Lumen introduced Dynamic Connections as part of its Cloud Connect portfolio and is working on the global expansion of its SD-WAN solutions while expanding its platform to cloud service and software-as-a-service providers. It is focused on generating revenue growth in its business markets and expects the scale of its global assets and innovative product portfolio to be accretive to earnings. The company is working with customers to enable their 5G roadmaps while extending its fiber footprint.

At the same time, Lumen is focused on bringing improved operational efficiencies through a number of methods, including network simplification and rationalization. This should help the company improve its end-to-end provisioning time and drive standardization. Lumen has been trying to establish itself as a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions arena designed for enterprise customers.

Moreover, the company’s strong network capabilities, integrated hosting and network solutions are likely to promote growth in the cloud business. The company’s managed and cloud services are key differentiators from other players in the market. Also, investing in growth through product and network expansions, delivering enhanced customer experience across the business and deleveraging to strengthen its balance sheet remain key priorities.

Based on these strategic endeavors, Lumen expects the revenue trajectory to improve in the long run. The Monroe, LA-based communications company’s Quantum Fiber platform and IP-based network capacity also position it well to support customers.

Lumen currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Its shares have gained 7.9% against the industry’s fall of 56.7% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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First Advantage Corporation FA is another top-ranked stock in the industry, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised 5.1% upward over the past 60 days.

First Advantage delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 47.2%, on average. Although it has lost 22.3% in the past three months, we remain confident of FA’s inherent growth potential on the back of its avant-garde background screening solutions.

LiveRamp Holdings, Inc. RAMP also flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been revised a whopping 231.3% upward over the past 60 days.

LiveRamp Holdings delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 633.3%, on average. The stock has gained 8.5% in the past six months.

Marvell Technology, Inc. MRVL sports a Zacks Rank #1 as well. The consensus estimate for earnings for the current year has been revised 6.9% upward over the past 60 days.

Marvell Technology delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 7.6%, on average. The stock has soared 40.3% in the past year. MRVL has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 24.3%.


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