BROOMFIELD – Level 3 Communications Inc.’s share price was up 3.4 percent in afternoon trading Wednesday following the company’s earnings report that showed a sixth-straight quarterly profit.
For its first full quarter since the acquisition of rival TW Telecom, Level 3 posted net income of $122 million. That’s up 9 percent from Level 3’s mark for the same period a year ago, but up 23 percent from Level 3’s and TW Telecom’s combined earnings in the first quarter last year.
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The latest earnings, for the period ending March 31, amounted to 35 cents per diluted share, up from 29 cents per share a year ago if the two companies had been combined then.
In addition to the strong earnings, Level 3 adjusted its outlook for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, as well as for free cash flow. The company now expects to generate free cash flow of $600 million to $650 million for the full year 2015, up from its prior outlook of $550 million to $600 million.
Level 3 closed the $5.7 billion acquisition of Littleton-based TW Telecom in October, and confirmed last month that some layoffs, accounting for less than 5 percent of Level 3’s global workforce, would occur as a result of the merger.
“Level 3 had a solid start to the year, progressing on integration and generating profitable growth,” Level 3 CEO Jeff Storey said in a prepared statement. “Customers are seeing the benefits of the acquisition, including our differentiated products and solutions, expanded network footprint and customer-first approach.”
The earnings beat analysts’ estimates, though revenue fell just short at $2.053 billion. The company generated free cash flow of $51 million. It finished the quarter with more than $1.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents.