Along with its convertible debt move earlier today, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) also won a renewal and expansion of one of its most visible contracts today. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), which provides healthcare coverage for 98 million, or perhaps 30% of the nation’s population, has signed on for another two years – we last heard news on this relationship in 2009 of course.
The BCBSA and its component companies have for many years leveraged Level 3’s voice, video, and data services, but will now tack on CDN, managed Ethernet access, and DDoS protection. Who would DDoS healthcare? Never mind, I don’t want to know.
Level 3 will report its second quarter earnings in several weeks as the market continues to anticipate the company’s later transformation when the Global Crossing deal closes and the valuation equation changes radically. However, in the short term it is organic growth that will be the focus, and they have said growth will tick upward from the first quarter. Keeping up momentum in the key healthcare vertical is critical to those growth plans.