Level three Communications, Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Level three Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:LVLT) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 3, 2012. Level three Communications, through its operating subsidiaries, is a facilities-based provider of a range of integrated communications services.

Level three Communications, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net loss of 56 cents per share, a narrower loss from the year-earlier quarter net loss of $1.35. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from a loss of 97 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from a loss of 54 cents during the last month.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by 4 cents, reporting a loss of 98 cents per share against a mean estimate of net loss of $1.02. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company exceeded forecasts by 32 cents with a loss of $1.16 versus a mean estimate of net loss of $1.48.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.59 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 71.2% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $6.51 billion for the year, a rise of 50.3% from last year’s revenue of $4.33 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Level three Communications with seven of 12 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company’s loss widened to a loss of a $163 million (33 cents a share) from a loss of $52 million (45 cents) a year earlier, but beat analyst expectations. Revenue rose 65.6% to $1.52 billion from $921 million.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 2.1% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 2.6% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 3.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 1, 2012 and April 27, 2012, the stock price rose $3.40 (17.5%), from $19.42 to $22.82. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between May 19, 2011 and May 27, 2011, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 25.9% (+$7.20) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 10, 2011 and November 21, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 11.2% (-$2.43) over that span.

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

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