Level 3 Loses $169M On Debt Charge, Lower Revenue

Level 3 Communications Inc. losses grew in the second quarter, compared to a year ago, as the company took a $54 million hit for getting rid of debt.

Investors were sour on the news shares of Level 3 fell more than 9 percent to $1.09 by about 1 p.m. Eastern.

The $169 million loss marked the sixth loss in a row for the Broomfield, Colo.-based wholesale service provider. Still, that figure was better than the first quarter of 2010, when Level 3 reported $238 million in losses.

In terms of revenue, Level 3 saw a drop from $942 million in 2009s second quarter to $908 million. And the company continues to struggle as wholesale, mid-market, European and other customers watch their pocketbooks. Each of those divisions reported sales declines of 1 percent, 9 percent and 7 percent, respectively. However, Level 3 did benefit from 15 percent higher spending on the part of large enterprises and federal government agencies. Yet, overall, core network services revenue dropped from $706 million a year ago to $699 million.

Nonetheless, Level 3 executives tried to remain upbeat, particularly about the whole of 2010. CEO James Crowe said he expects core network services sales — which totaled $694 million in the first quarter and $699 million in the second — to keep improving in the second half of the year.

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