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Level 3 reports 2Q, raises revenue projections

Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT) said Thursday its second quarter loss was less than expected, and upped revenue projections for its communications business.

Consolidated revenue for the quarter was $234 million. Net loss was 77 cents a share. First Call was expecting a loss of $1.03 a share.

Shares closed at 80 3/4 Wednesday.

The company said that due to customer demand which outpaced expectations, it is upping its revenue expectations.

Total communications revenue for 2000 is now projected to be about $825 million versus the previously announced $750 million. Of that amount, $200 million is expected to come from dark fiber sales, an amount unchanged from previous estimates.

Communications and information services revenue for second quarter 2000 was $181 million, a 242 percent increase over 1999 second quarter revenue of $53 million.

Net loss for the quarter of $281 million, or 77 cents a share included a gain of $57 million relating to the issuance of stock by RCN Corporation (Nasdaq: RCNC), in which Level 3 has an equity investment, for RCN's acquisition of 21st Century Telecom Group, Inc.

Excluding this non-operating gain, loss for the quarter was $338 million, or 92 cents a share.

The company said its per share calculation also included an increase in the number of shares outstanding after its follow-on offering in February.

The results for the quarter also include a $49 million non-cash charge, the greatest portion of which is due to the company's stock option program. Excluding this charge and the RCN gain, the net loss for the quarter was 79 cents a share.