Level 3 Losses Widen

Level 3 Communications Inc. lost $647 million, or 44 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2007, compared to $168 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago.

The telecom carrier attributed the nearly quadruple gap in part to the refinancing of $3 billion of long-term debt, an effort that cost $427 million. Level 3 still holds $6.8 billion in long-term debt.

Level 3s stocks dropped 37 cents on the news, to $5.81.

The company did not highlight its losses in its earnings release. Instead, it focused on revenue, or money received from sales. Revenue does not include total sales minus total expenses. This makes it difficult to thoroughly assess Level 3s finances without the chart the carrier must provide to the Securities and Exchange Commission. That information was not yet available from the federal agency.

Still, Level 3s first-quarter revenue did rise to $1.056 billion, slightly more than its projections of $1.045 billion. The largest increase came from the companys communications division, which closed its acquisition of Broadwing Corp. and the SAVVIS CDN Business earlier this year. The communications unit saw a 25 percent revenue jump thanks to Broadwing and SAVVIS, as well as higher sales of core services such as transport, IP and data, and voice.

Other communications services fell 12 percent to $84 million. Level 3 had expected that drop, however, because of a drop-off in managed modem services.

Level 3 Communications Inc.

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