Level 3 Reports Another Quarterly Loss A Big One

Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT), struggling under the weight of slowing sales and a high debt load, lost $41 million more in the third-quarter of 2009 than in the same period a year ago.

The wholesale carrier on Wednesday posted a loss of $170 million, substantially higher than the year-earlier loss of $129 million. Revenue, meanwhile, plunged 14 percent to $916 million.

The numbers came in lower than analysts had forecast, and, as a result, Level 3’s shares dove 11.76 percent by 12:38 p.m. Eastern, to reach $1.20.

Total sales of Level 3’s core communications services slipped 15 percent to $901 million. Revenue from the network and wholesale voice products, meanwhile, dropped 11 percent year-over-year to $859 million.

At the same time, the company’s long-term debt stood at $6.1 billion. That’s down $68 million from the second quarter of 2009 and $145 million from the beginning of the year, but there’s $157 million in debt coming due next year and another $433 million in 2011.

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