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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 0.7%. By the end of trading, Level 3 Communications rose $5.92 (15.9%) to $43.03 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 6,799,085 shares of Level 3 Communications exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,740,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $40.04-$43.50 after having opened the day at $40.43 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $37.11. Other companies within the Telecommunications industry that increased today were: Straight Path Communications ( STRP), up 16.7%, GTT Communications ( GTT), up 8.3%, Allot Communications ( ALLT), up 8.2% and Sonus Networks ( SONS), up 7.9%.

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, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Level 3 Communications has a market cap of $8.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are up 9.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 5 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 solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, Ikanos Communications ( IKAN), down 29.5%, AudioCodes ( AUDC), down 12.7%, Knowles Corporation ( KN), down 5.4% and Technical Communications ( TCCO), down 4.8% , were all laggards within the telecommunications industry with JDS Uniphase Corp (CA ( JDSU) 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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