Why Level 3 (LVLT) Is Gaining Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Level 3 Communications (LVLT) was gaining 8.6% to $34.11 on Wednesday after posting its first quarterly profit in years.

During the fourth quarter, Level 3 posted earnings of $14 million, or 6 cents a share. In the year-earlier quarter, the company posted a loss of $56 million, or 26 cents a share. Revenue fell 0.7% to $1.6 billion in the latest fourth quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected Level 3 to report earnings of 2 cents a share and revenue of $1.59 billion.

In a statement, Level 3 President and CEO Jeff Storey said, "We had a strong finish to 2013 as our fourth-quarter revenue benefited from both underlying growth and seasonal strength."

TheStreet Ratings team rates LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS INC (LVLT) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

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