Level 3's Loss Smaller Than Expected

By Josh Long Comments
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Level 3 Communications on Wednesday reported a smaller loss than anticipated by analysts during a quarter in which it acquired its rival Global Crossing Limited.

On a consolidated basis, the Colorado-based network services provider reported a net loss of 80 cents per share, or $163 million, in the fourth quarter. Level 3 lost $52 million or posted a loss of 47 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently projected a fourth-quarter loss of $1.10 per share, MarketWatch reported.

Excluding its acquisition of Global Crossing in October 2011 and not counting its discontinued coal mining operations, Level 3's fourth-quarter revenues grew to $934 million from $904 million in the year-ago period. In November, Level 3 sold its coal mining business to Ambre Energy Limited as part of a long-term strategy to focus on its core business operations.

On a standalone basis and excluding certain factors, Global Crossing posted consolidated revenues of $670 million, down from $683 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Beginning the first quarter of 2012, the company will no longer provide separate results for Global Crossing and Level 3.

Level 3, a global communications carrier with undersea network facilities and fiber infrastructure on three continents in more than 45 countries, said it's making progress integrating Global Crossing.

"We are now one team, having defined organizational structures, identified leadership and aligned teams within those structures," said Jeff Storey, president and COO of Level 3, in a statement. "From a sales perspective, we have aligned our customer accounts across the sales force, created regional sales commission plans and implemented an operating model to support cross-selling of services and geographies that were previously only offered by either Level 3 or Global Crossing."

Investors were apparently happy with Level 3's results. Shares of Level 3 were up 9.24 percent, or $1.81, to $21.40 on the New York Stock Exchange as of 12:56 ET.

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