Level three Communications Inc. Earnings: Loss Narrows but Beats Estimates

Level three Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:LVLT) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Level three Communications, through its operating subsidiaries, is a facilities-based provider of a range of integrated communications services.

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Level three Communications Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Loss narrowed to $163 million (80 cents per diluted share) from $207 million (loss of $1.75 per share) in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue: Rose to $1.58 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Level three Communications, Inc. reported an adjusted net loss of 62 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean analyst estimate of a loss of $1.02 per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $1.63 billion.

Quoting Management: “The company finished 2011 on a strong note, with Level three growing both Core Network Services revenue and Adjusted EBITDA and stable performance from the Global Crossing standalone business,” said James Crowe, CEO of Level three. “In particular, GC Impsat’s results showed strong quarterly and year-over-year growth. We are pleased with the progress we made over the course of the year, significantly expanding the scope of our business through the acquisition of Global Crossing, reducing leverage and positioning the company for the future.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 3.8% to $947 million in the third quarter. The figure rose 2.6% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 2.1% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now beaten estimates the last two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped expectations with a loss of $1.16 versus a mean estimate of a loss of $1.48 per share.

Looking Forward: For the next quarter, analysts are increasingly pessimistic about the company’s performance. The average estimates for the first quarter of the next fiscal year is at a loss of 97 cents per share, down from 89 cents ninety days ago. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved from a loss of $5.67 a share to a loss of $6.25 over the last ninety days.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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