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Level 3 Lowers Third-Quarter Guidance

Level 3 Communications (LVLT) lowered its revenue guidance for the third quarter, but the company maintained its outlook for the full year.

The company said Monday that third-quarter consolidated revenue will be $865 million to $900 million, compared with a prior projection of $930 million. Level 3 also expects information services revenue of $440 million to $465 million, vs. its earlier forecast of $490 million.

Communications services revenue will probably total $405 million to $415 million, lower than the previous guidance of $420 million.

"As we have said in the past, there continues to be economic weakness in the telecommunications sector," Level 3 said in a press release. "As a result, top-line growth and visibility remain challenging. However, we have confidence in our ability to project and deliver improving cash flows from our business."

At the same time, the company lifted its third-quarter consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization projection from $97 million, adjusted for discontinued operations, to $97 million to $102 million. Additionally, Level 3 lowered its third-quarter capital expenditures projection.

The new outlook reflects the sale of Midwest Fiber Optic Network. Adjusted for the discontinued Midwest Fiber operations, Level 3 reaffirmed its full-year projections. The company continues to expect to report positive consolidated free cash flow during the second quarter of 2004.

Separately, Level 3 said it plans to offer $500 million of senior notes due 2011. Shares of Level 3 were losing 16 cents, or 3.3%, to $4.62 in Instinet premarket trading.

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