Level 3 Induces Conversion, Further Cleans Balance Sheet

March 14th, 2012 by · 54 Comments

For Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings), the balance sheet work never ends, although it has been getting easier. Yesterday the company took another step toward erasing some very expensive money from the books. They have signed an agreement with major shareholder Southeast Asset Management to exchange $100M in senior converts for 5.4M shares of stock.

These are the 15% converts due 2013 that the company issued in the winter of 2008, at a time when the financial world was imploding and the company was seeing major churn looming as its customers pulled back. They needed to survive a credit deep freeze that threatened to last a long time (and which took down Nortel and a few others at the time), and it was the most expensive series of notes the company has ever issued.  Those notes are now the next major lump of maturing debt that Level 3 must deal with, and they'd clearly rather eliminate them sooner than later.

Of course it was mostly friendly hands that bought them, and the company has been trying to get the dilution over with for some time. Last July, they did a similar deal with Fairfax for $127M of notes.  The company's stock price has lately risen toward the conversion price, which probably helped the stars align for yesterday's agreement. There are still another $172M or so of the notes out there, and I'm sure Level 3 will try to get them off the books as well if the opportunity arises.

Interestingly, the deal also modifies the existing standstill agreement to allow SEAM to buy 4M more shares in the open market. That agreement has been in place for years to help protect the company's NOLs which would be at risk if there was a change of control in the eyes of the IRS. But the balance was shifted by the Global Crossing deal and I guess there's more room to spare now. That doesn't mean that SEAM will actually be buying, of course.  We'll have to check the SEC filings in May for that.

With the Global Crossing integration now in full swing, Level 3 is looking ahead to calmer waters in 2013 when the spreadsheets say they will finally have turned the corner on their debt. If things go well, they will either be generating lots of cash or spending it on expansion projects they have had to eschew for so long.

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Categories: Financials · Internet Backbones

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54 Comments So Far


  • B says:

    Yawn…keep on doing what you do best Level 3 and just keep kicking that can down the road and paying out large salaries and bonuses along the way.

  • Anonymous says:

    i’ve never seen a company treat its shareholders so badly. Yes, the exchange gets Level3 out of 15% debt, but, as I read the material, at current price the ORIGINAL deal would give SEAM 3.7m shares for a market value of roughly $90m. The so-called incremental 1.7m inducement (or 46% increase) shares raise the total value to roughly $131.6m. So SEAM gets $40m+ for early conversion. Depending on the original notes’ conversion date SEAM would have received only another $15m and MAYBE AT BEST, if convertible in Q4 2013, a total of $22-27m. But for some inexplicable reason level3 hands SEAM an extra $13m-$25m of value today. I would love to see the NPV calculation for this conversion. What discount rate did Sunnit use to obtain this exceptionally generous gift to SEAM?

    The initial sense is this great because level3 gooses its cash flow by reducing its interest payments which makes perfect sense. But if they simply give all that value (and then some) away to a single shareholder which, effectively, they’ve done here, the other shareholders don’t benefit.

    To be very clear, these shares were going to convert in one year into 3.7m common shares. Now they convert into 5.4m or 46% more shares. This transaction amounts to nothing more than a gift — a thank you gift — to a large shareholder that was already handsomely rewarded with a 15% coupon for lending money when market liquidity and credit markets were stingy. But SEAM was well rewarded for their generosity with a 15% coupon. Why is level3 giving again?

    The $15m in annual interest was tax deductible and would have only enlarged the pool of net operating losses (NOLs) that LVLT (and many on this board) seems to love so much.

    Shareholders should be asking — nay, demanding to know — why SEAM is getting so much value for early conversion.

    But this is a company that has no problem diluting shareholders. They do it every pay period. They match employee 401k contributions in level3 stock which then has to be sold by employees if they want to move it into other funds. Those shares are added to the float. Is it an enormous amount, no. But over a 5-10 year period it becomes meaningful. Why are shareholders being diluted? Management, on the other hand, is gifted shares annually based on a salary divided by share price formula. In other words, management has annual hedge protection against the dilution effect through their annual RSU grants. Patient shareholders, on the other hand, that have held level3 stock for years are not granted any new shares to cover any dilution effect

    • ddm08 says:

      Speaking like a true envious myopic MBA with an axe to grind on a company. Mr. Wet-Behind-the-Ears Prima Donna, did they ever teach the concept of “Integrity” and “Loyalty” when overpaid for that MBA degree? I surely hope you and the firm you work for never get into financial by the ways of MF Global, Lehman, WAMU, Merrill… If you do, you and your firm will be sucking up to places like SEAM to rescue you. Then, what do you think is going to happen? Think about that! Just ask Goldman Sucks and GE how it felt to be paying Buffett 10% the last 3 years. When a financial crisis hit home, you too will be looking for someone with financial dry powder to rescue you. So, you can cut the bull on your condescending ways of “pitty the long-term common shareholders”…

      SEAM has come to the financial rescue of LVLT, not once but twice. Are they entitled to getting paid for the risk taking they did with LVLT during those economic chaos (i.e. 2002 and 2008)? If you think they shouldn’t be rewarded, I would suggest you re-admit yourself to MBA school again…

      I am speaking as a common holder and a noteholder of LVLT. Do I get upset over this? No! Look at the top 5 shareholders of LVLT, Mr. Prima Donna; there is a reason why they hold 60-70% of LVLT common. They are all value investors who have LONG-TERM INVESTMENT TIME HORIZON, not an Excel spreadsheet cranker like you hoping to make a quick buck and run.

      While you are busy being a Prima Donna and argue for the sake of the “shareholders”, it’s the PATIENT SHAREHOLDERS like me who is not buying into your bull!

      • Anonymous says:

        brilliant response. while SEAM and others are making private deals to enrich themselves for THEIR shareholders, level3 common shareholders are getting screwed. you don’t like me, i get that, but don’t be an idiot. You only make yourself look like a fool.

        SEAM was well paid for they funds they lent level 3. A 15% coupon wouldn’t qualify as charity in any economic environment.

        It’s sad that your personal feelings cloud your rational mind. For god’s sake, you’re a shareholder (or at least you say you are), think and act like one. Don’t just bend over and say “thank you sir may I have another.” You’re like the officer that keeps sending his troops charging up Hamburger Hill because the brass keep telling him to do it.

        • CarlK says:

          I would caution incumbent “retail” investors who do not currently maintain the size, scope and scale to move forward with Level 3’s ferocious acquisition appetite, to think about a new type of “dilution” going to stricken them with assuming they are under capitalized to participate in pending “rights offerings.”

          The tables have turned, again!

          Many here respect toddforthree, and with rare exception, I mostly do also, so you know what I am talking about when he identified a new course of financing action on another venue.

          His analysis seems to be plausible to me. It’s a positive and favorable way for staying even assuming one has the necessary dry powder to do so when announcements are made. FWIW.

          • Anonymous says:

            now can you repeat that in english? I have no idea what you are trying to say.

            • CarlK says:

              You’re ON IGNORE. 🙂

              • Anonymous says:

                that’s fantastic, although you need a little work on your silent treatment execution.

                You respond to my post with gibberish and then when I tell you I don’t understand it you tell me you’re giving me the silent treatment. As “Todd” so aptly put it in ATT’s commercial, “…I don’t think you know how the silent treatment works”

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5ZeNZtvACI

                Maybe you and tweedle dumb can jointly practice your silent treatment exercises together. That way I can avoid seeing either of your responses to my comments.

                • CarlK says:

                  Anonymous, don’t you INSULT this BOARD’s collective intelligence by telling us you don’t know what I’m talking about even if it remains confined to the definition of a “rights offering” which can raise capital by issuing common stock commensurate with the percentage stakes in place by all stockholders before additional shares are added.

                  Taking crack shots at people who are questioning the value of your MBA degree in order to discuss HIGH FINANCE among members, is only validating their claims.

                  You’re back on IGNORE! 🙂

        • ddm08 says:

          May be my long-winded answer of “being a value creator” than “being a value destroyer” got lost in your MBA lingo translation. I brought it up, but may be I should ask it. How do you think GE and Goldman Sucks feel when they have to kneel to Warren Buffett and asked for those 10% rates and warrants to top them all off at the end? Do you think GE and Goldman Sucks were happy? BTW: What did GE and Goldman Sucks do with that money paying Buffett 10%?

          But I digress. Now, let’s go back to LVLT, shall we? Let me count the ways where the “bend-over” money for you since you can’t seem to think for yourself. That so-called “bend over” money you are referring to that LVLT borrowed went into buying 9 companies and 100K plus of fiber in those years. That money went into companies with 32K metro route miles which you didn’t account for since you have never been inside a manhole your entire useless life. Unlike your BS claims of the money going into management’s pockets, the money also went to build out a CDN business which you have NO CLUE about or why HD video traffic needs to be on LVLT’s CDN than with AKAM’s. The money from SEAM and others were used to buy a company that had a subsidiary doing HD encoding before you even know how to spelll HD encoding. The money from SEAM went to purchase a company with satellite subsidiary which you have no idea how to calculate a Link Budget for. That money went to untold number of data centers which now are a huge competitive advantage to LVLT. It went to buy companies which sat on a bunch of wireless backhaul spectrum that VZ finally realized how important those wireless backhall spectrum are. In the eyes of this shareholder, that 15% went into good use to me. So, count them up, Mr. Prima Donna MBA. Look at the rate LVLT had to borrow at and look at the assets that they ended up owning afterward. Then, may be you will understand the term incremental return for incremental invested capital, Mr. Prima Donna MBA. I hope you learned that in your MBA school.

          So, those are the facts on where the money with 15% bearing interest have been used for, Son. Like I told you on another thread, I have made money off of LVLT, not just once, but a few times now. So, yeah, I AM A SHAREHOLDER, and I ACT LIKE A REAL SHAREHOLDER who believe in “INTRINSIC VALUE” OF LVLT and the TRUE ECONOMIC VALUE OF LVLT, not what an Excel spreadsheet tells me what or where the P&L numbers are.

          • CarlK says:

            Whoa, ddm08! l remember squealing like a little piggie when we were bent over at fifteen percent “hard money,” but the truth is, you’re right, “to thrive you must first survive” and the workaround solutions that were made between Big (3) and their financiers, although a bitter, sour pill for main stream owners to swallow up to and leading into today, continues to position the company for greatness.

            The problem with Wall Street is that they’ve “DICTATED” to the stock price via their very NARROW PRISM like the Deutsche Bank analyst told the Clearwire CFO, i.e. we can’t see beyond three months so we pull everything dirty out of our butts to focus on in the short term as a result. Remember all those circuits Anonymous was pulling out of his you know what?

            Like I have said before, after the integration mess, those assets certainly didn’t go away, and they’re still “CAPACITY” waiting to be filled. And filled they will be!

            Kudos on your personal trading results, because I can learn a few telecom trading things from you versus my silly LTB&H strategy of doubling down a number of times continued to be the MO.

            It’s true, I let The Oracle’s public messages confuse me earlier in my career. Well, fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, too bad for me. It’s a good thing that I have changed by “adapting” better strategies over the years!

            Here’s to business evolution and CHANGE!

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh man, where to start.

            Value investor or not, you don’t turn a blind eye when a company enters into a questionable transaction. There is no reason for SEAM to be gifted a 45% annual return for 2012 (substantially more if you do a proper analysis given that we’re only in March).

            With respect to Warren Buffet, you are correct that he entered into very favorable terms with GS and GE. What is different about Buffet’s deal and SEAM’s is that GE and GS shareholders understood the full terms of the arrangement when the deal was consummated. This SEAM deal was not.

            I do not believe there was any disclosure about a “customary inducement premium” for early conversion. (If you have it, please post it. I have not been able to locate it. Moreover, the way the press release was drafted, it does not appear to be part of the original deal.)

            Whether or not you love this company, its management, its people or its network, you should care that the management is fully disclosing the terms of its financial arrangements. And not entering into arbitrary financial arrangements after the fact. This SEAM deal seems like nothing more than a gift to SEAM. If you feel so strongly positive about the company as you say, you want to make sure that they don’t engage in any practices that could unnecessarily harm it or distract it from its mission.

            I fully appreciate that you like how the company has chosen to invest its money. They have built a very good network. I’ve never disputed that. But Hostess made great pies and Florsheim crafted great shoes and AA flew wonderful planes all over the world. The greatness of their products couldn’t keep any of those companies from filing from Chapter 11. (I’M NOT SUGGESTING LEVEL 3 IS A BK CANDIDATE!!) The point is that Level3 is operating in an extremely competitive environment and cannot afford to enter into suboptimal financial transactions, nor can it afford to alienate its shareholders.

            Not sure who the satellite company is to which you refer. If you’re thinking Impsat (through Global Crossing), they’ve actually been moving far away from that business for years. They are predominantly a fiber based LatAm CLEC. And as for your “wireless backHAUL spectrum” reference not sure what you’re talking about, please explain. Wireless backhaul is not spectrum based or wirelessly provided. Wireless backhaul is provided via fiber and it is a service Level3 is well positioned to provide.

            As for your great investing prowess, I salute you. Irrespective of your great investing prowess, you should not simply turn a blind eye to the arbitrary nature and the overly generous terms of the SEAM early conversion.

            • valmont says:

              Anon,

              I think there are 2 key areas of value that you’re overlooking. 1, the option value of the converts and 2, above market interest rate.

              Right now, SEAM holds a convertible security. They have a 15% coupon (which is way above market) and an option on LVLT @ $27. By converting these securities now, SEAM is giving up their above market interest rate and their option. The bulk of the premium is to compensate SEAM for those 2 pieces of value.

              The converts mature at Jan 15 2013. You can go look the price for a LVLT Jan 2013 call @ 25 .. it’s about $5 or 20% of the share price.

              For rough math, 1 year debt on LVLT is probably 2% or 3% (this is your basic bond price = inverse of yield) because rates have come down. But lets just say that’s roughly worth $10M.

              So lets put some number on this:

              Value of the premium:
              1.7M shares @ $26 = $44M

              Value of the option:
              3.7M @ $5 = $18.5M

              Difference between market value of convert and face value:
              $10M

              Accrued interest:
              $2.5M

              You’re starting to get in the ballpark of the $44M premium.

              I will say, there may have been a kicker. The terms of the original converts were a little unusual in that they automatically converted if the price of LVLT traded 222% above the conversion price … that’s atypical. So maybe everyone was expecting LVLT to bounce right back.

              anyway you cut it though it’s not close to a $44M give away.

              • Anonymous says:

                valmont, I definitely agree that’s it’s not a $44m giveaway. I do believe it’s a $25m giveaway.

                It’s hard for me to find a compelling reason why Level3 induced the conversion. Had SEAM held those converts till the conversion date SEAM would have received their 15% in interest and converted their bonds into 3.7m common shares. The value of those two is far less than the 5.4m shares they got for early conversion.

                My math puts the value of the 3.7m and the $15m in interest at 4.3m shares. Instead SEAM received 5.4m shares to convert now.

                My only question is why did Level3 either offer or agree to this deal when waiting would have cost less.

                • valmont says:

                  its not a $25M giveaway.

                  the interest rate on the bond is above market.

                  the attached option (i.e. the conversion feature) can be easily priced (go look at LVLT 2013 $25 calls).

                  why did they induce the conversion?

                  it’s normal for corporations to refinance their current (i.e. within 1 year) maturities. It’s not typical to wait for maturity and repay principal at maturity. You can argue that LVLT should have repaid SEAM at maturity but what LVLT did is pretty vanilla. LVLT wants to get their leverage ratio down (this accomplishes that with the debt being converted to equity), they take care of their current maturities, and they don’t pay the 15% coupon. This was done at market values. You can look up the bonds on Bloomberg.

                  You’re seeing boogeymen in a vanilla corporate transaction.

      • valmont says:

        ddm

        your response is incoherent.

        “SEAM has come to the financial rescue of LVLT, not once but twice. Are they entitled to getting paid for the risk taking they did with LVLT during those economic chaos (i.e. 2002 and 2008)?”

        SEAM did get paid for the risk they took. SEAM received convertible debt. In plain english, SEAM got a 15% coupon and a long term option on LVLT (the conversion price was about $27) which is worth a lot.

        Try to understand:

        Deal SEAM cut in 2008:
        15% coupon
        option to purchase LVLT @ ~$27

        What Anon objects to is that LVLT is now giving SEAM a kicker on top of the original deal.

  • Anonymous says:

    A clarification to my above note:

    Based on the press release in Rob’s story it appears these notes were scheduled to convert into 3.7m common shares in January 2013. So, SEAM was entitled to $15m in interest. The value of the 3.7m shares is currently 90m. $90m+$15m=$105m. (The 15m should actually be discounted by level3’s current cost of debt. Since SEAM doesn’t have to wait until January 2013 to get their money, level3 should pay less.) Let’s assume Sunnit missed that that class. But level3 isn’t paying SEAM an incremental $15m or 625k shares ($15m/24=625k) to cover the interest expense. They’re paying $41m or 1.71m shares.

    So how much is the premium? Level3 is paying a conversion premium of 1.12m shares (1.71m premium shares – 625k shares to cover $15m interest = 1.12m incremental shares) or $25m.

  • CarlK says:

    OMG! My IGNORE BUTTON doesn’t work! Rob, you need to fix this MAD HOUSE you have created!

    Where the hell were you when Sunit let Fairfax, etal, with full interest to MATURITY and all STOCK in hands about 1.5 years before MATURITY?

    The game of investing remains a double edged sword requiring investors and speculators alike, to know the players INSIDE, OUTSIDE and CONNECTED to the enterprise being “bought into” with their “HARD EARNED MONEY!” I would call it SHEKELS but since I’m not Yiddish or Jewish, as far as I know, I would probably piss some people off, which is never the INTENT because I love the WORD! IMO, of course!

  • CarlK says:

    The funny thing is, it wasn’t even a “HARD SEVEN,” for the degenerate crap players among us, because not only haven’t we returned to the high six, low seven prices prior to the integration CF, SEAM recently valued the thing at “FOUR” pps today, split adjusted, i.e. divide by fifteen post “reverse stock split.”

    It’s not unfair to say that “INTEREST” can be considered an anathema to governments, businesses and individuals if not managed intelligently while being utilized away from “hard times” including safety margins and cushions versus when levers and guns are being held to one’s head with the other side being mad as hell and demanding their POUND of FLESH!

  • Anonymous says:

    carl, can you please write as if we don’t know what you’re talking about because we don’t know what you’re talking about. It would be helpful if you actually set up your comments with some context.

    I have no idea what this phrase means: “…it wasn’t even a “HARD SEVEN,” for the degenerate crap players among us,”. I can see there is a gambling metaphor but not sure what its connection to level3 is.

    I also don’t understand what your point is in the second paragraph. Can you make your points without trying to be so cryptic?

  • John Tribe says:

    Carl – I must be really dumb. I have read your post about four times but still have no idea what its saying. Maybe I need to read it a few more times. At least am having a laugh reading other peoples responses to your posts.

  • CarlK says:

    Anonymous, as well as JT, let me decode for you if I may. I have been siding more with your arguments versus against them, whether you care or not.

    I called the fifteen percent usury on the day it was announced, I still call it usury today, including all the “sweet heart” arrangements that followed it and were tied to it.

    However, when you’re dealing with criminals out of the caves of Wall Street, pricing securities unfairly when they scream “BUM” to the batter with a Buffett metaphor, and crash the stock price by stripping it of factual “supply/demand” inclusive of illegal naked short selling, it’s only natural to take care of your revered financiers on the inside regardless of “opinions” otherwise.

    I can’t only suspect all your complaints are not actionable; therefore, stop pulling circuits out of your ass, and focus on the great opportunities that are finally right underneath this enterprise’s nose.

    We don’t seem to be getting back to $105, or SEVEN PPS reverse split adjusted any time soon, as a result of all this dissension between Wall Street and more private capital pools, until we finally see that ultimate “Telecom Shot Heard Round the World,” I have been screaming to you bums is coming one day in our future.

  • Anonymous says:

    Is this company in as bad of shambles as I am hearing out there? Top talent leaving, few heads relative to being considered “top talent”, uncertainty of process, installs, and customer care?

    • CarlK says:

      Meant to say, non preferential owners.

      Anonymous, are you making a new observation and prediction relating to Level 3 today, or reciting something old?

  • CarlK says:

    Seven on a rounded basis is where the stock price mess began according to the integration debacle which O’Hara remains responsible for nearly five years old already. For the time being, it remains a most horrific event of DILUTION pollution which befell non preferential financiers playing inside baseball.

    Investing is a double edged sword requiring some level of knowledge surrounding the people inside, outside and connected to the businesses you are entrusting your capital to passively.

    It’s not for the faint of heart!

    And to clarify, all the complaining about the “premiums” which were and are being paid is a waste of time, because if it were actionable, and I contend it’s not, they wouldn’t be doing it compared to the things Wall Street does from their pedestal while posing as God which are certainly actionable but hardly ever pursued with the strength and vigor necessary!

  • CarlK says:

    Buffett analogies are being used widely on this board, and that’s a good thing. When Walter Schloss passed away recently, The Oracle said something profound about the character and integrity of the man for making his clients money first and foremost, but also referred to the only real reason Wall Street, as an institution has not imploded completely upon itself to date.

    Yes, we have those occasional once in one hundred year capital wars which methodically takes out competitors like Lehman or Bear Stearns, in order to make this “INSIDER TRADING BUSINESS” more monopolistic as they export their tyranny around the globe, but you’ll get the point why society might do a whole lot better without these blood sucking leeches versus with them by reading what’s underneath The Oracle’s thinking cap, because he always thinks before he acts as my schmuck friend will tell me.

    In the big picture of life, you Wall Street pedigrees in many cases, aren’t as smart as you would like others to believe you are!

    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-20/walter-schloss-superinvestor-who-earned-buffett-s-praise-dies-at-95

    Began as ‘Runner’
    To Buffett, Schloss’s record disproved the theory of an efficient market — one that, at any given moment, assigns a reasonably accurate price to a stock. If companies weren’t routinely overvalued and undervalued, Buffett reasoned, long- term results like Schloss’s couldn’t be achieved, except through inside information.

  • ddm08 says:

    Anonymous, did the shareholders of GE and Goldman Sucks cry foul when they induced Buffett into turning in his 10% coupon, or did Buffett cry foul having to turn in his notes that paid him $15 per second?

    http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0911/Top-Perks-Warren-Buffett-Gets-When-Purchasing-Equities.aspx#axzz1p8cJ41PG

    As a shareholder, I am for this inducement. Didn’t your MBA professor teach this concept of paying now versus paying later? Which would cost you more? Pay now or pay later? Only a myopic bean-counter like you only thinks of the short-term benefits and always discount long-term benefits.

    Furthermore, I rather see LVLT be partnering and paying their interest to Fairfax, SEAM, Thornburg, Sayles Loomis, and Temasek than to be looted by Carl Icahn or Ron Pearlman. I have seen their movies so many times, and the endings are always the same: The shareholders are the ones getting shafted. If you don’t believe, go ask the shareholders of all the companies that Icahn and Pearlman have gotten their paws on, notably XOHO.OB. There is a reason XOHO.OB in a rut and go nowhere, and that’s because of Icahn looting.

    Like I said, the money that were lent to LVLT was put to good use by buying up all of those distressed assets and putting them into good use.

    Now, let me get to the nuts of your comments. It’s the bean-counters and the myopic number crunchers like you that push for short-term results which push companies like Hostess, AA and Florsheims into bankruptcy. The original founders of those companies TRULY UNDERSTAND THEIR BUSINESS and THEIR MARKET PLACES. Once they left them to the bean-counters, the bean-counters look for short-cut and kill the brand. That’s why Buffett has said repeatedly that when he buys a company, he wants the people who runs the business to be staying put. He is not running them. This is a concept that you MBA Prima Donnas haven’t gotten a clue yet. Remember what I said about watching a fish trying to walk on land? Well, I can tell that you are a jarguns throwing analyst from a mile away.
    I am glad that you have come clean and admitted as such… That’s why companies like SingAir, CathayAir, and Emirates Air are the top 3 airlines in the world, and AA is near the bottom of the list. That’s because they have a long-term view of the industry, not quarterly results and obeying to Prima Donnas like you on Wall St. In case you are wondering, yes, I am a Platinum AAvantage member, and that’s how I know…

    Oh, btw: just so you know, Florsheims is now back in the hands of the original family that originally invented it again:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florsheim_Shoes

    And in case, you don’t know. Florsheim shoes are selling like hot cakes again. Thanks to a designer named Duckie Brown. Go look it up at your nearest Barney or Bloomingdale’s store if you don’t believe me on this. The point here is this. It takes the “people who truly understand the business and the market” to effectively compete in their space. That’s why it’s important to learn the business, not the Excel files you have been staring at everyday, Son!

    Regards to your comments about Impsat, it’s true that Impsat is in the fiber business, but they also have leased Sat links.

    http://www.globalcrossing.com/news/2006/october/26.aspx

    “Impsat’s networks consist of owned fiber-optic and wireless links, teleports, earth stations and leased satellite links.”

    “Wireless backhaul is not spectrum based or wirelessly provided. Wireless backhaul is provided via fiber and it is a service Level3 is well positioned to provide.”

    Classic Prima Donna statements!!!! I can not stop laughing at those statements… Anonymous, in case you didn’t know or have not done your research, there is a microwave spectrum band called 39GHz. It’s primarily used for fixed point-to-point microwave operations that would provide communications infrastructure such as “backhaul” and “backbone” communications links for services including broadband personal communications services (broadband PCS), cellular radio, and other commercial and private mobile radio operations.

    http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=service_home&id=39ghz

    Next time, you drive by a cell tower. I suggest you look up at it very closely. Up at a tower like that, there is a little white color circular looking drum. That’s a microwave link that would link one tower to another. That is the wireless backHAUL service I am referring to.

    Anyway, when LVLT bought Telcove from the bankrupt Adelphia using the “bent-over” money from SEAM, it landed a treasure trove of 300 LMDS and 39GHz licenses that covered 90% of the country:

    http://www.rcrstage.com/article/20060501/sub/level-3-scores-lmds-39-ghz-licenses-from-telcove-purchase/

    At the time, this went unnoticed to people like you guys because you are only carring about the “snarty” P&L numbers right?

    Well, this 39GHz is coming very handy now. You know why? That is because bandwidth capability of 39 GHz is enormous. Links can deliver gigabit connections over OC-12 gear. The OC-12 radio is affordable these days. This “wireless backHAUL” infrastructure comes very handy because VZ has to sign up with LVLT for their LTE services.

    http://newswire.telecomramblings.com/2011/04/level-3-helps-power-verizon-wireless-4g-lte-network-rollout/

    Now, Mr. Anonymous, please pay very close attention to the system architecture diagram in here. Now, do you see why the 39GHz spectrum is crucial to LVLT’s economic advantage?

    http://cdn1.cust.footprint.net/prod/App_Data/Replicated/MediaFiles/6/5/6/%7B6560CD42-5E04-4221-B231-3D5A40E4164B%7Dbrochure_tower_access_002.pdf

    Oh, btw: Anonymous, I have great news for you regarding this “wireless backHAUL” front. There is a forecast out there that said mobile backhaul will increase by 85% in the next 5 years:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-mobile-backhaul-demand-forecast-to-grow-more-than-nine-times-in-the-next-four-years-2012-03-13?reflink=MW_news_stmp

    “As a result, iGR forecasts the demand for U.S. mobile backhaul will grow at a CAGR of nearly 58 percent between 2011 and 2016, with the overall demand growing by 9.7 times. And the growth of fiber backhaul, the preferred method for providing mobile backhaul, is expected to reach a CAGR of nearly 85 percent over the same period.”

    The point is that the investment that LVLT makes doesn’t always show immediate return, but it pays off down the road. These guys have the knacks for that. Just ask Infinera about that. At one time, LVLT invested $10MIL or so in INFN before it went public. When they were INFN shareholders, they got themselves some really sweetheart deals on INFN gears…

    http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Level_3_Communications_(LVLT)/Marketable_Securities

    • Anonymous says:

      first, looting is looting. Whether it’s Gordon Gecko or the most esteemed investor. This deal is smells bad because no early conversion event seems to have been specified when the securities were created. A typical debt offering will have call provision that specify call dates and call prices. Converts have similar provisions. This deal seems to have been made on the fly with no provision for an early convert. Investors should have a problem with that.

      Second, florsheim first wiped out all its shareholders with a bk filing before winding back in the hands it’s in now. That was precisely my point — great product, poor management. Many, many brands survive long after shareholders are wiped out.

      Third, communications equipment that permits seamless handoffs from tower to tower is not backhaul and it’s not provided by level3.

      Fourth, please read the documents to the links you provided and not merely look at the pictures?

      From the document you linked to entitled “Level 3 Tower Access”

      http://cdn1.cust.footprint.net/prod/App_Data/Replicated/MediaFiles/6/5/6/%7B6560CD42-5E04-4221-B231-3D5A40E4164B%7Dbrochure_tower_access_002.pdf

      “You provide the tower equipment and wireless capabilities”…

      “• You connect to Level 3 at zero manhole
      • Transport services purchased from Level 3”

      Look why don’t you dial back the venom a bit and start reading this stuff more carefully. The Level3 wireless backhaul service is not provided using wireless technology. It is fiber optic backhaul. I’m sorry you went to such great lengths to prove me wrong but unfortunately the information you’ve provided hasn’t achieved that. It confirms my earlier point.

      I agree wireless backhaul is a big market and level3 is in a very good position to capitalize from it. I said that in my earlier comment. “Wireless backhaul is provided via fiber and it is a service Level3 is well positioned to provide.”

      Fifth, level3’s investment in infinera means very little and is off-point. Pre-bankruptcy Global Crossing back in 1999 had its own investment fund and they were an original investor in Sonus networks. Global Crossing shareholders were wiped out in January 2002.

      You seem to be spending more time trying to show me how you’re not wrong than show me you’re actually right. My earlier comment did not say that Impsat has no satellite assets but rather that they are primarily a fiber optic CLEC network provider in LatAm. I will add to that point that only a very small percentage of their revenue comes from their satellite network and each year it gets smaller and smaller.

      Furthermore, please read the Qs you will see that level3 is earning money from wireless providers not by providing a wireless service but by providing service to wireless providers.

      Finally, I have repeatedly said that Level3 has a great network, big footprint, and I’ll add to that, if i haven’t said it elsewhere, some amazingly great people. That is not now nor has it ever been my issue. Many a great company with terrific assets fails financially. Just look at the RR industry from the 1800s.

      You seem to be overjoyed by everything level3 does and that’s great. I don’t share that degree of certainty about anything in life. I think investors have an obligation to question everything.

      • ddm08 says:

        “first, looting is looting. Whether it’s Gordon Gecko or the most esteemed investor.”

        You call an investor who had been with LVLT since 2002 a looter? How long do you hold your investment, Son? Now go compare that to SEAM and their association with LVLT. Did SEAM extract an ounce of blood like Icahn had done so with XO? What values did Icahn created for XO since becoming their shareholders?
        I gave you all of the business benefits that SEAM had done for LVLT. What part of my messages didn’t make into your brain?

        “Second, florsheim first wiped out all its shareholders with a bk filing before winding back in the hands it’s in now. That was precisely my point — great product, poor management. Many, many brands survive long after shareholders are wiped out.”

        Wrong!!!! Did you even read the Wiki page and see how many times Florsheim had changed of ownership?
        Bean-counters like you were the reason that destroyed great brands.

        “Third, communications equipment that permits seamless handoffs from tower to tower is not backhaul and it’s not provided by level3.

        Fourth, please read the documents to the links you provided and not merely look at the pictures?”

        What a MORONIC STATEMENTS!!!! Tell me. Have you ever designed a wireless communication system in your life? Wait, you don’t need to answer me. I already know the answer to that. Yet, here you are telling me to back off on my venom? I can not help but laugh at the stupidity of this statement.

        Seriously, Anonymous, I can not imagine how stupid you just sounded. Here, may be some Fiber to the Tower 101 for you and where the 39GHz spectrum that LVLT has come into use. May be you will learn something about wireless communication and fiber communication, and how it’s integrated. Put some of those brain cells into good use, would you?

        Now, Anonymous, pay very close attention to slides #6, 16, 32, 36 and 37! It will do you some good if you pay attention…

        http://www.fibertower.com/corp/downloads/CTIA%20Deck%200408.ppt

        Definitely, a fish trying to learn and walk on land. Beautiful!!!! LMFAO!!!!!

        “Fifth, level3′s investment in infinera means very little and is off-point. Pre-bankruptcy Global Crossing back in 1999 had its own investment fund and they were an original investor in Sonus networks. Global Crossing shareholders were wiped out in January 2002.”

        How is this off point? Did you even read the rest of my comments about LVLT making a killing from INFN’s gears when they were investors? Somehow, you smarty MBA just glossed over the finer details huh?

        “You seem to be spending more time trying to show me how you’re not wrong than show me you’re actually right.”

        Like I told you before, I am not right because you agree with me. I am right because I have facts to back me up, and I have shown YOU FACTS AFTER FACTS which you refused to believe. Furthermore, Anonymous, you know what else I have on my side that you don’t have? I actually have real world, hands-on experience of how these systems are put together from design to operation, Son! I have designed and built these comm systems from womb to tomb… So what else do you want to challenge my knowledge on? Want to get schooled on CDN 101 too? I have worked in that industry for a few years too. So, give me an offer. My CDN 101 lesson will come at a much cheaper price than what Buffett charges Goldman Sucks, Anonymous. Even though I am gainfully employed, I get paid $500 per hour for my consulting fees if you like to learn about CDN 101, and a minimum of 8 hours per day. 🙂 🙂

        Anonymous, my points have always been this. I know you are a smart person. You have probably gone to a good school and work hard to earn your keeps. From someone who is a shareholder of LVLT and who really understand this business, I am asking you to look at each company and TRULY learn about its business, not its Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow statements. Truly look at the company from TOP DOWN and BOTTOM UP, not a bunch of numbers that stare at you everyday and tell you to buy or sell. Put some of your brain cells to good use and be a good analyst.

        I get really offended when I see cheap shots comments like this:

        “Is this company in as bad of shambles as I am hearing out there? Top talent leaving, few heads relative to being considered “top talent”, uncertainty of process, installs, and customer care?”

        Those are the comments from a low-life liar, not an analyst with integrity. So, I urge you to be a real high person of integrity and a good analyst, Anonymous! Don’t be a little weaselly scoundrel…

        • en_ron_hubbard says:

          ddm,

          I won’t go into all your points (because I would rather not engage with you and be called “son”) but I do want to point out that your information from FiberTower (FTWR.PK) relating to wireless backhaul is about six years old. Since that time FTWR’s business model and wireless product has completely failed to gain traction– wireless service providers just want the reliablity of fiber to the tower and wireless is a last resort. FTWR is likely filing for BK in due course and now trades on the pink sheets after being delisted.

          I don’t believe anyone attributes much value to the LVLT wireless spectrum, just as XO’s wireless spectrum assets proved essentially worthless and have been almost completely written off. All that said, LVLT is well positioned in the FTTT business as they are in most other areas of focus.

          • ddm08 says:

            Enron,

            “I won’t go into all your points (because I would rather not engage with you and be called “son”)”

            I wouldn’t want to do that either. I don’t get into a war of insults with anyone here. However, when someone who knows nothing and pretends like does by using a lot of industry jarguns and then decides to call me “stupid”, that just crosses the line with me. Respects are earned with me; they are not given.

            With regards to your comments about FiberTower and their financial troubles. I am very aware of their financial problems. I am also aware of XO’s wireless spectrum assets as well. They are on a full court press to get these utilized ASAP. FiberTower just put their backhaul spectrum on the auction block. So, yes, I am aware. I was using it as a tutorial our Analyst Genius from the Temple of Wall St who thinks he’s an engineer like Mr. Falcone at LightSquared. Furthermore, I used these as examples because the use of fiber + microwave for backhaul have been an industry trend in North America.

            When you get an engineering problem like Wireless Backhaul, this comment from Robert X Cringely which I borrow from the “Triumph of the Nerds” applies, “It’s not the best technology that wins; it’s the best exploiter of technology that wins.”

            In every engineering that I have ever came across, we always take cost of provisioning into the equation. So during my days of doing wireless comm design, we always considered microwave as an alternative to laying down fiber to haul back radio traffic into our switch center, and that had always been part of our solutions. Sometimes, we would use microwave, and there are times we would use fiber. It all depended on the cost trade study.

            Now, having said that, I would to share with you this industry study of backhaul.

            http://www.slideshare.net/allabout4g/apracticallookatltebackhaulrequirementspdf

            See the trend of LTE backhaul in North America on slide #11? This presentation was done last year. So, is this the trend going forward with LTE? May be and may be not. It all depends on COST of PROVISIONING! All of the cell towers in my neighborhood all have microwave antenna mounted on top, and these are brand new towers erected the last 2 years.

            Another market study from the same firm doing wireless backhaul study.

            http://www.slideshare.net/allabout4g/wireless-backhaul-market-from-an-allip-perspective

            Like I said, being a LVLT shareholder, I don’t have any preference as to what solution is used microwave + fiber or fiber alone like they are using in Europe. COST is always a key driver for me. It’s the COST of the engineering solutions that drives gross margins, net margins, EBITDA etc…

            So, my engineering motto has always been with what Robert Cringely summarized best: It’s NOT the best technology that wins; it’s the best exploiter.

            Hope we are on the same page there…

  • CarlK says:

    For my friend, Enron_Hubbard, who knows all my places of residence, even though I do not know his.

    http://investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=444&mn=110632&pt=msg&mid=11555451

  • level3 says:

    ddm08,

    You definitely know what you are talking about! I’m very impressed with the facts and figures you provide freely to this forum. I value all the key facts revealed by you, especially on 39 GHz spectrum footprint that covers 99% of the U.S. I look forward to learning a great deal more from you on the business that Level 3 is engaged in. Call it drinking Koolaid if you will, but when it comes to recognizing value I do not follow Mr. Market and see Intrinsic Value in the posts written by ddm08.

    I only wish the personal attacks & snide remarks of all involved would go by the wayside.

    Currently, ddm08 is my new found hero!!! 🙂

  • CarlK says:

    It looks like B of A wants to drink some of the Kool Aid this morning, level3, while hitting the buy switch which is assisting at turning around the negative sentiment by the Wall Street Lemming Brigade. One of my family’s older friends in the securities business taught me early on that, Wall Street has two buttons, “in favor” or “out of favor.” We can only hope that their “in favor” button lasts twelve years hence as their “out of favor” button has already!

    The stock over $26.00 in pre-market trading. Those 1,000 put contracts representing 100K shares with a $24 strike and “ten cents” premium which were being discussed yesterday, are certainly looking to have been by a “smart money” insurance writer placing a line in the sand according to their strong “buy conviction” for establishing a “floor” on price.

    Hopefully, we will slice through $27 quickly and this Forest Gump stock runs like hell through the 30’s so that the rest of those $175M $27 strike price 15 percent convert owners, convert their shares voluntarily and ASAP!

    “Stupid is, as stupid does” so don’t be stupid as ddm08 has duly advised certain miscreants otherwise.

  • level3 says:

    Think Value CarlK, I’ll drink some of that Bank of America Kool Aid. The market timing is right for a good old fashioned “corner”, by none other than Berkshire Hathaway & Fairfax. Cheers 🙂

  • CarlK says:

    level3, It is true that when humans stop thinking and looking ahead with optimism, “confidence” and belief systems for reaching their goals, individually or collectively; they might as well turn the lights out by ending their journey, this “GIFT” of “LIFE” to be sure, one which is too precious to ever give up on no matter how bad things temporarily appear in the caverns of their minds.

    That Wall Street BEAST is an exploiter of such negative MIND SHARE, which the savviest of investors like The Oracle along with his devout disciples, will never say DIE to, while always THINKING AHEAD!

    I believe the movie version of “Grapes of Wrath” best depicts why a woman might be better suited for the peaks and valleys which are sure to be experienced by all of mankind during their journeys.

    The character “Ma” while riding in the truck with her family explained why women are stronger in times of trouble such as The Great Depression versus men, some who may place their heads in the sand as they grow older.

    What she said was profound in explaining how men are always looking for that “next” big life event before they ultimately tire by “retiring” into retirement and have nothing left to look forward to any longer.

    Whether it be first love, and “marriage” or “employment” or something else, a woman’s frame of is more “wired” to just keep working the “journey” enjoying the moments, and continuously working to overcome the challenges until death finally does part her.

    The man, on the other hand, drives himself to death by not being able to “LOOK FORWARD” by enjoying every experience life is still offering him, until death does him part. After he retires, he’s thinking about “DEATH” being the next big “life cycle” event which is depressing in itself as it works subliminally.

    Life is short and a gift! Cherish all the moments!These are things I learned from my own mother, including observing her practice it every day of her life!

    Where do I find “CONFIDENCE” in spite of turmoil some have asked? Right there! Cheers! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    There is a giant part of me that wants to disclose who I am and my background. The better part of judgment tells me not to and I won’t. I said on a different thread that my comments will either stand on their own or they will not. For some they have and for others they haven’t. I’m fine with that.

    I would caution that some comments attributed to me were not posted by me, but don’t really care. Not trying to win a popularity contest here. Either information is valuable or it’s not.

    I will say one thing about the data that ddm08 provided, I did find the use of wireless technology for wireless backhaul interesting and i happily conced that I definitely learned something there. In the slides DDM08 linked to fiber backhaul solutions for wireless carriers was twice the size as wireless backhaul and level3 is one of the beneficiaries of that. Surprisingly, copper was the largest portion. I found that amazing.

    level 3’s wireless backhaul service is not provided wirelessly. Level3 is fiber company not a wireless company. That’s not going to change. Believe me, don’t believe me, it won’t change the facts.

    As noted in an early post here, I do believe Level3 is well positioned to capture wireless backhaul revenue over its fiber optic network.

    My original post was in response to the topic Rob provided. Whether I’m an investment banker, buy-side or sell-side analyst, hedge fund manager, former Global Crossing or Level3 employee doesn’t change anything. The SEAM deal is wrong for investors. As a fund manager, investor, analyst, company employee with stock, or other I am livid about this deal and will write a letter to the board expressing that this gift to SEAM is the reason I’m selling my shares. I intend to do that.

    No one has argued that SEAM is not getting an incremental $25m on top of the $15m. Instead the supporters are saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, “hey, a special $25m stock dividend on top of the $15m to cover their 2013 interest is fair because SEAM is a loyal investor.”

    I can’t subscribe to that; others here can. I prefer to invest where one class of investors is not arbitrarily given preference over another class. For me the only issue at hand here is whether or not SEAM was given a special deal and why.

    The convertible notes were set to mature January 2013, at which time SEAM’s convertible notes would convert to 3.7m shares of common stock.

    Why exactly did Level3 decide to induce the conversion and grant SEAM an incremental 1.7m shares?

    Why did Level3 give SEAM $41m (1.7m shares) of premium today when SEAM would only receive $15m (or equivalent of 625k shares) in interest next January?

    Did SEAM threaten to monetize its investment unless Level3 offered a special $25m sweetener?

    Venom and vitriol aside, there is a reason this sweetheart deal was made. i have no idea what it is. I do believe Level3 has an obligation to provide a complete explanation to the shareholders that did not receive such a generous gift.

    • ddm08 says:

      “There is a giant part of me that wants to disclose who I am and my background. The better part of judgment tells me not to and I won’t. ”

      As you remember, I was one of the people that challenged on your veil of secrecy, Anonymous. I don’t hide myself behind any anonymous like you are. So, what does that say about my integrity vs. yours?

      “In the slides DDM08 linked to fiber backhaul solutions for wireless carriers was twice the size as wireless backhaul and level3 is one of the beneficiaries of that. Surprisingly, copper was the largest portion. I found that amazing.

      level 3′s wireless backhaul service is not provided wirelessly. Level3 is fiber company not a wireless company. That’s not going to change. Believe me, don’t believe me, it won’t change the facts.”

      You just got schooled on backhaul wireless, and now you are an industry expert? Beautiful! I URGE you to spend more time and peel the onion layers and see what you can learn, Anonymous. Do you really think that LVLT would buy a bunch of 39GHz spectrum and just let it sits? Talk about depreciation and amortization! Huh! I can’t find anything funnier than what you just claimed.

      “My original post was in response to the topic Rob provided. Whether I’m an investment banker, buy-side or sell-side analyst, hedge fund manager, former Global Crossing or Level3 employee doesn’t change anything. The SEAM deal is wrong for investors. As a fund manager, investor, analyst, company employee with stock, or other I am livid about this deal and will write a letter to the board expressing that this gift to SEAM is the reason I’m selling my shares. I intend to do that.”

      Again, did you answer my questions about Icahn and his value to XOHO.OB? Now you are attacking SEAM and attacking this deal? Why didn’t you attack the BOD last year when the VERY SAME DEAL was given to Fairfax? Why didn’t you after that then? Also, PLEASE DO SELL YOUR SHARES! SELL AS MANY AS YOU CAN, AND RUN FOR THE HILLS! There is going to be a flood coming. It’s called the exaflood, and you are going to be run over by it.

      Also, I asked a very simple rhetorical question in another thread, but you failed to acknowlege it. Now, I can see in your post here of your motives. It seems to me that your ego is bigger than your credentials here, and it’s sad! You should learn to have some humility, son. It will do you some good in life!

  • schmuckinsurance says:

    Nice post Anon.

  • CarlK says:

    Anonymous, YOU LOST ME, right here:

    What good do a MAN or WOMAN who has NO REAL NAME to refer to, FACELESS in cyberspace while they attempt to garner the MIND SHARE of their audience?

    Bring it on! Your name along with credentials, that is, ANONYMOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • CarlK says:

    “There is a giant part of me that wants to disclose who I am and my background. The better part of judgment tells me not to and I won’t”

    My name is Carl Kramer, and I write “BULL” on this Anonymous statement while requesting that he stop his Level 3 spam and bashing by DECLARING who he really is.

    “What’s your LINE,” Anonymous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Inquiring minds must know in order to weigh more intelligently the value of your POSTS.

  • Anonymous says:

    Carl, why would any of the following disclosures matter? Either information is valuable or it’s not.

    (1) I come from the private equity side in telecommunications space. I have 20yrs of experience with IXCs, ILECs and CLECs;
    (2) I’m a buy-side analyst for a large mutual fund family specializing in telecommunications services;
    (3) I’m a retired executive that spent 35 years working for ATT and after ma bell was broken up stayed with long lines;
    (4) I’m a former officer at one of the companies discussed here;
    (5) I’m a product manager for a competitor;
    (6) I’m an investment banker for a mid-tier financial services firm;
    (7) I’m subsea cable technician on a cable ship awaiting my next mission;
    (8) I’m a NOC employee at one of the companies referenced above;
    (9) I’m a former FCC staffer at the common carrier bureau responsible for drafting NPRMs on future competition in the telecommunications industry;
    (10) I’m DOJ lawyer in the antitrust division who has reviewed numerous communications merger reviews;
    (11) I’m a customer service rep at a cable company;
    (12) I’m a telephone repairman;
    (13) I’m a private investor who works for Walmart stocking shelves;
    (14) I’m a outside auditor for Level3
    (15) I’m a professor of economics who has written extensively on the telecommunications industry
    (16) I’m an IP engineer developing a new hosted VOIP application;
    (17) I’m a journalist that writes for a telecommunications industry magazine;
    (18) I’m an industry analyst that does research for a new study;
    (19) I’m a Phd candidate in Psychology writing a dissertation on Game Theory studying how blog commentors escalate intensity.
    (20) I’m a independent Board consultant that evaluates executive talent in the communications industry;
    (21) I’m an algo trader with a $500m fund.

    And on and on i can go. (I have about 125 more if interested 🙂 )Are one of those me? I doubt it, but, more importantly, who cares?

    Either information is valuable or it is not. Who we are should matter far less than what we say. Either it’s right, relevant, wrong, worthless, etc.

  • CarlK says:

    I do not discount the fact of “winks, nods and Atta Boy or Girl” relationships between birds of a feather flocking together who know each other, and for who it is that they work for as well as their credentials in forums like this.

    That’s exactly the point why disclosing who they are becomes relevant.

    This is why my partner wisely requests that “hedge funds” as well as investment banks are required to report their short positions according to the same public filings they must report their long positions.

    There was some loose references to “net” long or short position on cnbc over the years, but no TEETH there, I assure you.

    Anonymous, you have made an accusation that Level 3’s integration is not going well again, and that their key employees are insufficient to meet the tasks they have in front of them. You already avoided an answer to my inquiry surrounding why you wrote such a harmful statement as you did in the midst of all your GIBBERISH continuously spamming this board!

    I don’t think you would do that, if you weren’t anonymous, or at least if your position was truly being disclosed as short.

    You have already proven why everything you write on this board, is entirely useless, and only valuable to those “birds of a feather” sticking together in order to have their way, whatever way that is tied to being long, short or indifferent to this “security.

    FULL DISCLOSURE: I am WAYLONGLVLT in time and shares as well as a dirt cheap cost basis, a mere low single digit fraction of my long term view of this corps. intrinsic value predicated upon approx. $40B in cost new PP&E, and a very capable, extremely smart as well as savvy telecom/internet management team!

    Are you going to pull some more circuits out of your ass now?

  • CarlK says:

    If you really think about it, Anonymous, one of the strengths to Rob’s board and others like it, is the fact that real people, with real identities and ideas appear in our presence. Dan Caruso is a fine example, of somebody not attempting to hide behind a cloak of deceit irrespective of whether one agrees or disagrees with the sharing he is gracious enough to do here.

    Could you imagine how the feedback loop surrounding “CONFIDENCE” would fare, if some cold, cruel MASK calling itself ANONYMOUS appeared on CNBC with Becky Quick, while attempting to garner the respect and admiration of the investing public because of his beliefs in America and global capitalism?

    Don’t be shy, show us who you are including “Who’s Your Daddy?” I promise that I won’t bite you, and if you respect me along with my ilk, I will certainly respect you even when we disagree, something which is almost certain to happen among all people from time to time!

    I am still waiting for your response on the “LIBEL” written by you in matters of Level 3’s ongoing Global Crossing integration?

  • Anonymous says:

    Carl, look, I’ve made my points on the induced conversion. The point in my original post was that I didn’t believe that LVLT treated their common shareholders well and the sweetheart deal with SEAM was further evidence. The employee 401k matching was another. The de facto effect of the annual Restricted Stock Unit (RSU) grants to executives as a natural hedge against dilution was another. There was no reference in my original post about synergies, network, migration, technology, etc.

    The point was very narrowly focused on the way Level3 treats its common shareholders and for me the SEAM arrangement was a glaring example. You decided to make it about something else. Shame on me for getting sucked into discussions off the immediate topic.

    • Anonymous says:

      for clarification in case someone says i don’t support matching in 401ks. I love 401k matching and think all companies should fully match, but it should not be in company stock.

    • valmont says:

      Anon,

      I value your contributions.

      See above. I think you’re off on your concerns about the ‘inducement’ though.

  • CarlK says:

    Anonymous, you committed LIBEL against Level 3 for the whole world to see, and it had nothing to do with me. Stop lying, and tell the truth. Oh, you’re ANONYMOUS, so why does the truth according to your WORLD matter, if mattering matters at all? I know the answer, so it’s a rhetorical question, of course.

    Please respond as to why you would do such a cold, cruel thing under the cover of a MASK, unless you are willing to DISCLOSE any FACTS you have which made you make those claims?

      • CarlK says:

        Are you suggesting that “TROLLS” should be excluded from being sought out and destroyed–metaphor for lawsuits–in seeking damages according to their LIBEL?

        I smell a cabal representing very large players who are enemies of our nation including the freedoms and liberties we must all never take for granted! They must be sought out and destroyed.

        Anonymous has committed LIBEL against a public enterprise while believing he does not have to answer for his or her dubious claims under the concealment of those powerful Daddies behind their curtains that he is stumping for. imho

  • CarlK says:

    Telecom Ramblings along with its host, Rob Powell, is fast becoming a proxy for telecom investors around the world to visit in order to ascertain valuable data reflective upon their industry for investment consideration, and more.

    Trolls like Anonymous who blatantly commit libel for some unknown benefit except to guard their positions and/or their spheres of influence commanding them to do so, without any identities or accountability, cannot be a good thing towards that end.

    I realize there is a trade off for establishing some level of accountability, but cold, cruel, faceless bashes like that are intended to do nothing except harm.

    I have often said that, Wall Street, like the medical profession, should be forced to adhere to some form of the “Hippocratic Oath” instead of their easy way out that, “future profits are not guaranteed” in order for them to earn ungodly commissions and/or fees; win, lose or draw.

    I am sure that the existing structure continues to aid and abet the criminal mindset usurping the investment business historically, and up to date.

  • Another Anonymous says:

    That’s a rather grand way to put it. I wish we could put this issue about anonymous posting to bed. This debate is such a boring thing for posts to devolve into.

    You disagree with Carlk on something? Well I bet I know where this is going. Carlk, if Rob wanted to ban postings from anonymous posters, he would. If you think he should, then please tell him. But not in every damn post.

    Some of us have jobs (manipulating the stock market is just a side project) and can’t speak freely without anonymity. Most of us aren’t here for your “glory” or someone’s hard-earned money, but rather, to make a contribution. Is that so wrong? The reason people mock you isn’t because you have strong opinions. It’s because you’re so often a jerk about them. I have a profile here, but I very rarely use it because I’m afraid that I’ll get my company on your bad side and that you’ll put us on blast. I have no desire to be the axe that you grind.

    If what you want is a set of commenters who never disagree with you, you’re fast getting what you want.

    The next time you make a post, please ask yourself this question: have I already made this very argument more than 10 times in the last 30 days? If so, please think of something else to accuse someone of.

    • CarlK says:

      Another Ahole(“manipulating the stock market is just a side project”), yes, I’m talking to you behind the mask.

      Rob Powell knows how to run his blog just fine without any suggestions or input from me. He’s a genius in his own right, and the content along with analysis that he provides on a daily basis without fail proves it. He will run his business how he chooses. I am just a visitor here. I do consider it a privilege, not a right.

      However, since the site is frequented by telecom executives from all walks of life, and since it was clear that your Evil Twin libeled Level 3, maybe they have seen it, and have the will to bring an action against the perpetrator by seeking its IP address for its name and location.

      There have been bizarre situations in reverse where “public” corp. CEO’s” were using message boards improperly, so imagine if you found this perpetrator was placed here by a competitor in order to do psychological harm with respect to behavioral finance, something these operators including the boiler room shops use quite well to their advantage.

      As a long term shareholder of Level 3, I do hope they go after that POS, and I don’t mean “potentially outstanding stock.”

      To add a little more color for you smart ass analysts who consider INSIDER TRADING to be your divine right, a comment much like what this clown put out there disparaging Level 3, had previously been leaked on the IV BOARD while the COO was speaking positively about the state of the business. That leak turned out to be true, and we know what happened during the past almost five years as a result.

      So, maybe this BASHER ANONYMOUS has found out something unusual according to his or her “CHANNEL CHECKS” into the business which is bringing up RED instead of BLACK for the sell side again, but he has shut his SLIMY mouth and refuses to re-address it since LIBELING the company according to that very specific comment.

      How is that for a strong opinion?

      Capiche?

      FULL DISCLOSURE: ddm08 is a good friend of mine who I know personally, and to discount him would be fool fodder, including MOTLEY FOOL. I wish I could speak the difficult second language that he commands in addition to English, and had half of a clue about the engineering marvels he works diligently on every day!

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