Rob Powell
February 8th, 2017

With the CenturyLink/Level 3 deal still in process, there are still earnings reports to keep an eye on. This afternoon, Level 3 posted its numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017, showing relatively stable results relative to the third quarter. Relative to analyst estimates, Q4 revenue came in light at $2.032B while earnings per share of $0.70 was above expectations.

In North America, enterprise revenues rose strongly during the quarter, more than offsetting softness on the wholesale side. Enterprise growth also returned to the scene in Europe, while in Latin America they held most of last quarter's surge. In both cases, wholesale and government revenues ebbed. Combined, core network services went up by $4M, and total revenues down by $1M. For the full year, Level 3 generated $7.767B in revenue.

EBITDA fell sequentially on slightly higher access costs and SG&A, but earnings per share jumped up due to a tax benefit - will have to listen to the call for details on that. Free cash flow was a healthy $251M.

Looking ahead, Level 3 forecast 2017 EBITDA of $2.94-3.00B, free cash flow of $1.10-1.16B, and capital expenditures of about 16% of revenue.