Global Crossing buy doesn't stop stock slide

Although shares have sunk, analysts believe the international communications carrier is in a strong position to succeed.

Although Global Crossing shares have slipped more than 20 percent in the past week, analysts remain optimistic about the long-term success of the international communications carrier.

Shares slipped substantially last week after the company posted a significantly wider quarterly loss, in part because of costs associated with a handful of acquisitions in the past year.

Shares fell again yesterday, despite record-setting gains on the Nasdaq composite index. Today, Global Crossing shares traded flat at midday, but rose $1.56, more that 3 percent, at $49.88.

The company agreed to acquire IXnet and its parent company IPC Communications for nearly $3.9 billion in stock Tuesday. Global Crossing shares continued to slip following the announcement.

But analysts say the deal may give Global Crossing a foothold among some of the largest business customers in the financial industry, a lucrative market that could result in long-term payoffs.

The last week hasn't been friendly for many of the big telecommunications players, however. AT&T, MCI WorldCom and Qwest Communications International all have fallen over that time, though none has dipped as deeply as Global Crossing.

Despite the stock performance, analysts and company executives continue to believe Global Crossing--with domestic, undersea and international networks--is in a strong position to succeed in the future.

"To me the stock market has grown extremely emotional," said Hilary Mine, a telecommunications industry analyst at Probe Research. "People fall in love with a stock, they boost it up, and then at the smallest setback people fall out of love with it because now the reality hits that you have to execute."

Global Crossing's recent hiccup could be an indication that investors have accepted the company as an established business and that erratic stock movements are no longer the norm.

"That's probably when you know they have a real business," Mine said. "The reality is Global Crossing is no longer a business plan, but it's a real business now."

Still, stock in Global Crossing is trading well above its September lows. Investment banking firm Merrill Lynch this week upgraded its rating on the company to "near-term buy" from "near-term accumulate."

Company representatives said the acquisition of IXnet will give Global Crossing access to about 600 major financial industry customers to which it can sell a variety of communications and Internet services. Additionally, financial services institutions represent the type of international customer Global Crossing hopes to attract, said Global Crossing spokeswoman Madelyn Smith.

"The end goal is selling broadband everywhere," Smith said.'s John Borland contributed to this report.