Level 3’s (LVLT) CFO Takes A Powder

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Level 3 (LVLT) says that it is looking for a new CFO. "As the company focuses on ensuring we take full advantage of the opportunities presented by our marketplace, we believe we need a CFO with skills and experience which emphasize both operational and financial management," the company’s Chief Executive James Crowe said in a statement, quoted by Reuters.

Level 3’s shares are down 5% on the news, trading at $4.64, near a 52-week low. And, they should be. Announcing that the CFO is leaving just before the earnings release is a sure fire signal that the quarter will not be good.

Level 3 is a debt-laden nightmare, so its quarterly cash-flow is essential to keeping the company in good standing with its lenders. In the June quarter, the company showed over $6.8 billion in long-term debt. The company has had a string of quarterly operating losses.

The signal is not good.

Douglas A. McIntyre