May 3, 2012 / 11:00 AM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Level 3 loss wider than expected

* Q1 loss $0.66 per share vs estimate $0.60

* Q1 revenue $1.59 billion, in line with estimates

* Sees continued sequential growth in core network services rev

May 3 (Reuters) - Online content delivery provider Level 3 Communications Inc posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as it paid back debt.

Net loss for the first quarter narrowed to $138 million, or 66 cents per share, from $231 million, or $1.15 per share, a year ago. Analysts expected a loss of 60 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding repayment of debt, Level 3 posted a loss of 37 cents per share.

Revenue at the company, which competes with Akamai Technologies Inc and Limelight Networks, was nearly flat at $1.59 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates.

Core network service revenue from enterprise customers increased 11 percent to $1.382 billion in the first quarter.

Level 3 said it continued to expect core network services revenue to grow sequentially for the rest of the year.

“We continue to have confidence in our outlook for this year, and expect to grow the business for the remainder of 2012,” Chief Financial Officer Sunit Patel said in a statement.

Last week, Akamai forecast second-quarter profit that missed estimates, sending its shares down 15 percent.

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