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Level 3 Communications reported third quarter revenue of $875 million, more than double the company's revenue of $364 million a year ago. The $875 million was also up sequentially from $835 million in Q2, which helped the company narrow its losses. The Q3 loss was $138 million; the previous quarter, the company lost $210 million.

One special gain and a special loss were factors in Level 3's quarter loss. The gain was $33 million from selling its Software Spectrum operation, which it bought in 2002, to Insight Enterprises. The loss was $55 million from an amendment and restatement of Level 3 Financing's $730 million credit agreement.

The company claimed the special items masked an approximately 6% growth in core communications services revenue, the result of particularly strong contributions from transport and infrastructure and voice services, the ongoing stabilization in the pricing environment; and the positive impact of industry consolidation.

In the past year, Level 3 has purchased WilTel, TelCove, Looking Glass, and it recently announced it will buy Broadwing.

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