Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

Level 3 Communications ( LVLT) pushed the Telecommunications industry higher today making it today's featured telecommunications winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.2%. By the end of trading, Level 3 Communications rose $1.15 (5.3%) to $22.66 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 3,074,809 shares of Level 3 Communications exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,807,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $21.49-$22.82 after having opened the day at $21.56 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $21.51. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that increased today were: Inteliquent ( IQNT), up 12.6%, RELM Wireless Corporation ( RWC), up 7.0%, DSP Group ( DSPG), up 6.2% and Zhone Technologies ( ZHNE), up 5.3%.
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Level 3 Communications, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a facilities-based provider of a range of integrated communications services primarily in North America, Latin America, and Europe. Level 3 Communications has a market cap of $4.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are down 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Level 3 Communications a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 9 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Level 3 Communications as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the negative front, Deltathree ( DDDC), down 16.7%, Net Element International ( NETE), down 7.4%, DragonWave ( DRWI), down 6.0% and Oi ( OIBR), down 5.3% , were all laggards within the telecommunications industry with Telefonica ( TEF) being today's telecommunications industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the telecommunications industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Telecom ( IYZ) while those bearish on the telecommunications industry could consider ProShares Ult Sht Telecommunication ( TLL).

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