8. Level 3 Communications ( LVLT) Company Profile: Level 3 Communications is an integrated Internet networking services provider. In April, the company said it would acquire fellow communications services company Global Crossing ( GLBC) for $2 billion. Shares of Level 3 have steadily increased this year, with a big rise last week on news the company was able to lower its borrowing costs through a $600 million bond sale. In May, Level 3 reported an adjusted first-quarter loss that beat analysts' forecasts. Current Share Price: $2.27 (June 27) 2011 Total Return: 131% Analyst Ratings: Level 3 is one of the most widely followed stocks on this list, garnering 12 overall ratings from analysts. D.A. Davidson is one of only two firms with "buy" ratings on the stock. Another seven firms, including Oppenheimer, suggest investors hold on to shares, while three firms rate the stock a "sell." TheStreet Ratings has a "sell" rating on the stock, which it has maintained for two years. The latest report says Level 3's "primary weakness has been its feeble growth in its earnings per share."