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Level 3 Communications ( LVLT) pushed the Telecommunications industry lower today making it today's featured Telecommunications laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, Level 3 Communications fell $0.48 (-1.3%) to $36.96 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,409,389 shares of Level 3 Communications exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,497,100 shares. The stock ranged in price between $36.62-$37.54 after having opened the day at $37.38 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.44. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that declined today were: AudioCodes ( AUDC), down 7.0%, Alvarion ( ALVR), down 5.7%, Net Element ( NETE), down 4.2% and Blonder Tongue Laboratories ( BDR), down 3.9%.

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 $8.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are up 10.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Level 3 Communications a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 8 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet.

On the positive front, xG Technology ( XGTI), up 128.4%, Ambient Corporation ( AMBT), up 14.8%, Gogo ( GOGO), up 12.2% and Barracuda Networks ( CUDA), up 9.3% , were all gainers within the telecommunications industry with LM Ericsson Telephone Company ( ERIC) being today's featured telecommunications industry leader.

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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