Why Level 3 Shares Got Crushed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Level 3 (NYSE: LVLT  ) got crushed today, down by 15% at the low, after the company reported earnings.

So what: Revenue in the fourth quarter totaled $1.61 billion, a slight increase both sequentially and year over year. The company generated a net loss of $0.16 per share, not including the $0.23-per-share cost associated with extinguishing debt or the gain of $0.13 per share related to one-time items.

Now what: CEO James Crowe said the company has improved its balance sheet over the past year, with more than $4.5 billion of capital markets transactions. However, it still has a large debt load, with $8.5 billion in long-term debt. The company expects first-quarter sales in its core network services to decline slightly on a sequential basis because of seasonal trends.

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