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Updated from 1:22 PM EDT.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Level 3 Communications (LVLT) were soaring 6.16% to $49.81 on Thursday afternoon as CenturyLink (CTL) is in advanced discussions to merge with the company, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources.

Shares of CenturyLink were spiking 15.04% to $32.50 early this afternoon.

A deal may be announced in the next few weeks, the sources added. But there is the potential that discussions could fall apart, the Journal noted.

CenturyLink is a Monroe, LA-based integrated communications company. Broomfield, CO-based Level 3 is focused on managed security, network, voice and data services.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of B- on Level 3 stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LVLT

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