Level 3 Communications Inc. on Wednesday said it swung to a second-quarter loss on charges related to its efforts to improve its balance sheet, halting a string of six straight quarters of profits.
However, excluding one-time items, Level 3's per-share earnings beat expectations.
Shares of the Broomfield, Colo., telecommunications-services provider fell 1.8% to $51.57 in recent premarket trading, as the company's revenue fell short of analysts' estimates.
Overall, Level 3 reported a quarterly loss of $13 million, or four cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $51 million, or 21 cents a share. Excluding debt-extinguishment and refinancing-related losses and other items, per-share earnings were 42 cents.
Revenue climbed 27% to $2.06 billion, buoyed by its acquisition last year of rival TW Telecom.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of 39 cents and revenue of $2.08 billion.
Companies such as Level 3 are taking advantage of rising demand for Internet bandwidth from several sectors, including media companies looking to distribute video over the Internet, big corporations that are increasingly reliant on computer services delivered over the Web and cellphone companies that are investing in links to get traffic off the airwaves and into fiber as quickly as possible to speed service.
The soaring demand has spurred a consolidation spree among the carriers that own fiber-optic cables and data centers, the building blocks of the Web.
The company has used its acquisition of TW Telecom to pursue a wider range of business customers. Level 3 said in April that it could still pursue other companies on an opportunistic basis.
Level 3 also affirmed its 2015 guidance for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
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