Corvis ( CORV) shares rose modestly Friday after the broadband provider posted a first-quarter loss on slightly higher revenue.

The Columbia, Md., company cited a 75% reduction in its quarterly operating loss at its Broadwing unit. The company said revenue at Broadwing rose to $141.6 million in the quarter ended March 31 from $140.3 million in the period ended Dec. 31. Corvis acquired Broadwing in the spring of 2003, so year-over-year comparisons don't apply.

"We continue to expand Broadwing's market presence, portfolio and potential," said CEO David Huber. "During the quarter we announced the acquisition of Focal Communications. Focal's network footprint and solid customer base will allow us to accelerate our market expansion and deliver a broader array of voice, data and video products to our customers."

Corvis started out as a maker of communications gear that aimed to increase capacity and reduce costs to the network operator. But sales of the company's optical convergence switch have failed to take off, and latest-quarter gear sales amounted to just $5.1 million.

For the first quarter, Corvis lost $33.9 million, or 7 cents a share. A year ago the company lost $47 million, or 12 cents a share.

Shares of Corvis rose a dime to $1.63.