Level 3 Communications, the Colorado telecommunications infrastructure company with roots and shareholders in Omaha, on Wednesday reported its first profitable quarter in years.
“We had a strong finish to 2013 as our fourth-quarter revenue benefited from both underlying growth and seasonal strength,” CEO Jeff Storey said.
Storey called the year “solid.” He said the firm reached its target debt range, improved margins, decreased churn among customers, and lowered capital expenditures and administrative costs.
Storey said the firm is taking steps to limit dilution of its stock. It will issue 2014 bonuses in cash, not in a combination of cash and stock as it did in 2013.
In its fourth quarter, the firm generated net income of $14 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $56 million, or 26 cents per share, for the fourth quarter 2012. The profits came on revenue of $1.6 billion for the quarter, a decline of less than 1 percent over the same period last year.
Level 3 ended the year with a net loss of $109 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with a loss of $422 million, or $1.96 per share, in 2012. The firm has not seen an annual profit since it went public in 1998.
Storey, formerly the company’s president and chief operating officer, took over as CEO in April 2013 and promised to expand the company’s current revenue streams, eliminate wasteful expenses and improve the firm’s credit profile. Level 3 since cut about 700 jobs, or 6.5 percent of its workforce.
Storey also said he would grow the business by shifting the company’s focus from a wholesale provider to serving the day-to-day network needs of large business customers. In the fourth quarter, enterprise revenue grew 9 percent while wholesale revenue fell 4 percent for an overall revenue growth of 4 percent in core network services, the company’s largest business category.
“I believe we’re making the right investments in the business and are focusing on the right customers to drive growth,” Storey said.