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Level 3 Communications, Inc. Jumps on Strong Fourth-Quarter Earnings

By Anders Bylund - Feb 5, 2014 at 9:35AM

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Shares of Level 3 Communications jumped 3% in pre-market trading, driven by a strong fourth-quarter earnings report.

Level 3 Communications (LVLT) reported fourth-quarter results this morning, beating earnings estimates on in-line revenues. In pre-market trading, Level 3 shares jumped 3% higher on the news.

The international communications network saw earnings swing to $0.06 per share, compared to a net loss of $0.26 per share a year ago. Analysts were looking for $0.02 of positive earnings per share. Total sales fell 0.8% year over year to $1.6 billion, in line with Wall Street estimates.

Adjusted EBITDA profits rose 14.5% to $466 million. Free cash flows landed at $197 million, a 2.5% decline.

Core network services delivered 4% higher sales year over year, driven by a strong showing in the Americas but held back by soft European results -- particularly a 31% decrease in U.K. government orders. Going forward, Level 3 will no longer report separate numbers for this sub-market, folding U.K. government figures into the EMEA enterprise segment instead.

Looking ahead, Level 3 expects core network sales to increase more than 2.9%, in fiscal 2014, adjusting for currency exchange effects. EBITDA income should grow between 11% and 14%.

"Level 3's global network and differentiated customer experience continue to resonate with enterprises, leading to solid CNS [core networks services] enterprise growth of 6.8 percent for the full year 2013," Level 3 CEO Jeff Storey said in a prepared statement. "We are well-positioned for improved growth in 2014."

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