Level 3 Communications 10-Q 2012
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
For the Quarterly Period Ended March 31, 2012
For the transition period to
Commission file number 0-15658
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(Registrant’s telephone number,
including area code)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No x
The number of shares outstanding of each class of the issuer’s common stock, as of May 4, 2012:
Common Stock: 216,387,585 shares
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Part I - Financial Information
Item 1. Financial Statements
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Operations
*Adjusted to give effect to the 1 for 15 reverse stock split that became effective on October 19, 2011. See Note 1 - Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies.
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Supplementary Stockholders' Equity Information
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)
For the three months ended March 31, 2012
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Balance Sheets
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
(1) Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Description of Business
Level 3 Communications, Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company" or "Level 3") is a facilities based provider (that is, a provider that owns or leases a substantial portion of the plant, property and equipment necessary to provide its services) of a broad range of integrated communications services. The Company created its communications network by constructing its own assets and through a combination of purchasing other companies and purchasing or leasing facilities from others. Level 3's network is an international, facilities based communications network. The Company designed its network to provide communications services that employ and take advantage of rapidly improving underlying optical, Internet Protocol, computing and storage technologies.
Until November 2011, the Company also was engaged in coal mining through its two 50% owned joint-venture surface mines, one each in Montana and Wyoming. The Company completed the sale of its coal mining business on November 14, 2011. See Note 4 - Dispositions.
On October 4, 2011, a subsidiary of Level 3 completed its amalgamation with Global Crossing Limited ("Global Crossing"), which thereby became a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of the Company through a tax free, stock for stock transaction (the "Amalgamation"). See Note 2 - Events Associated with the Amalgamation of Global Crossing.
Principles of Consolidation and Basis of Presentation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Level 3 Communications, Inc. and subsidiaries in which it has a controlling interest. Prior to the disposition of the coal mining business during the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company's 50% owned mining joint ventures were consolidated on a pro rata basis. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated. The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP").
As part of its consolidation policy, the Company considers its controlled subsidiaries, investments in the business in which the Company is not the primary beneficiary or does not have effective control but has the ability to significantly influence operating and financial policies, and variable interests resulting from economic arrangements that give the Company rights to economic risks or rewards of a legal entity.
The accompanying consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2011, which was derived from audited consolidated financial statements, and the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements as of March 31, 2012 and for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 have been prepared pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and do not include all of the information and note disclosures required by GAAP for complete financial statements. These financial statements should be read in conjunction with the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company’s Form 10-K, as amended, for the year ended December 31, 2011. In the opinion of the Company’s management, these financial statements contain all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) necessary for a fair presentation of financial position, results of operations and cash flows at the dates and for the interim periods presented herein. The results of operations for an interim period are not necessarily indicative of the results of operations expected for a full fiscal year.
The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reported period. Actual results could differ from these estimates.
Effective after the close of trading on October 19, 2011, the Company completed a 1 for 15 reverse stock split as previously approved by the Company's stockholders. Proportional adjustments were made to the Company's outstanding convertible debt, warrants, equity awards and to its equity compensation plans to reflect the reverse stock split. No fractional shares were issued in connection with the reverse stock split, as stockholders who would otherwise hold a fractional share of common stock received a cash payment in lieu of that fractional share. All references herein to common stock and per share data have been retrospectively adjusted to reflect the reverse stock split.
Certain amounts in the prior period consolidated financial statements and accompanying footnotes have been reclassified to conform to the current year's presentation.
(2) Events Associated with the Amalgamation of Global Crossing
On October 4, 2011, a subsidiary of Level 3 completed its amalgamation with Global Crossing, which became a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of the Company through a tax free, stock for stock transaction. As a result of the Amalgamation, (i) each issued and outstanding common share of Global Crossing was exchanged for 16 shares of Level 3 common stock (unadjusted for the 1 for 15 reverse stock split completed on October 19, 2011), including the associated rights under the Company’s Rights Agreement with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as rights agent (the “Amalgamation Consideration”) and (ii) each issued and outstanding share of Global Crossing’s 2% cumulative senior convertible preferred stock was exchanged for the Amalgamation Consideration, plus an amount equal to the aggregate accrued and unpaid dividends thereon. In addition, (i) the outstanding vested options to purchase Global Crossing common shares were modified into vested options to purchase a number of shares of Level 3's common stock equal to 16 times the number of Global Crossing common shares covered by such Global Crossing options and (ii) the issued and outstanding restricted stock units covering Global Crossing common shares, to the extent applicable in accordance with their terms, vested and settled for a number of shares of Level 3's common stock equal to 16 times the number of Global Crossing common shares covered by such restricted stock units.
In connection with the closing of the Amalgamation, Level 3 Financing, Inc. ("Level 3 Financing") amended its existing credit agreement to incur an additional $650 million of borrowings through an additional tranche (the "Tranche B II Term Loan."). In addition, the $1.2 billion of proceeds from the initial and additional issuance of 8.125% Senior Notes due 2019 in June and July 2011(see Note 8 — Long-Term Debt) by an indirect wholly owned subsidiary were deposited into an escrow account. On October 4, 2011, following the consummation of the Amalgamation and the satisfaction of certain escrow release conditions, the 8.125% Senior Notes were assumed by Level 3 Financing (the “Notes Assumption”), and the funds were released from the escrow account. The net aggregate proceeds from the Tranche B II Term Loan and 8.125% Senior Notes were used to refinance certain existing indebtedness of Global Crossing in connection with the closing of the Amalgamation and for general corporate purposes.
As a result of the Amalgamation, the Company issued approximately 88.53 million shares of common stock, adjusted for the October 19, 2011 1 for 15 reverse stock split, to former holders of Global Crossing common shares and Global Crossing’s 2% cumulative senior convertible preferred stock, and Level 3 caused the refinancing of approximately $1.36 billion of Global Crossing's outstanding consolidated debt.
Based on (i) the number of Level 3 shares issued (88.53 million as adjusted for the 1 for 15 reverse stock split completed on October 19, 2011), (ii) the closing stock price of Level 3 common stock as of October 3, 2011 ($21.15 as adjusted for the 1 for 15 reverse stock split completed on October 19, 2011), and (iii) the debt of Global Crossing refinanced ($1.36 billion), the Company estimates that the aggregate consideration for acquisition accounting, including assumed debt, approximated $3.4 billion. The restricted stock units covering Global Crossing common shares settled for Level 3 shares of common stock were reduced in settlement of employee income and payroll tax withholding obligations and the corresponding amounts of approximately $81 million were paid in cash. The premium paid by Level 3 in this transaction is attributable to strategic benefits, including a significantly expanded IP/optical network with global reach including South America, Asia and the Pacific region, an improved credit profile and reduced financial leverage attributed to enhanced financial and operational scale, and the opportunity for investment and network expansion. The Company has a comprehensive portfolio of voice, video, and data services, which operates on a unique global services platform anchored by subsea and terrestrial fiber optic networks in North America, Europe, and Latin America. The goodwill associated with this transaction is not expected to be deductible for income tax purposes.
The combined results of operations of Level 3 and Global Crossing are included in the Company's consolidated results of operations beginning in October 2011. The assets acquired and liabilities assumed of Global Crossing were recognized at their acquisition date fair value. The purchase price allocation of acquired assets and assumed liabilities, including the assignment of goodwill to reporting units, requires extensive analysis and is expected to be completed no later than October 4, 2012. The following is a preliminary allocation of purchase price based on information currently available. The final identification of all the intangible assets acquired and the determination of the purchase price allocation may be significantly different from the preliminary allocation reflected below.
Level 3 entered into certain transactions with Global Crossing prior to completing the Amalgamation, whereby Level 3 received cash for communications services to be provided in the future, which it accounted for as deferred revenue. As a result of the Amalgamation, Level 3 can no longer amortize this deferred revenue into earnings and accordingly, reduced the purchase price applied to the net assets acquired in the Amalgamation by $77 million, the amount of the unamortized deferred revenue as of the acquisition date.
As a result of refinements to the preliminary purchase price allocation that were made during the first quarter of 2012, there were changes to the initial amount of goodwill determined in the fourth quarter of 2011, which have been reflected in the above table. The refinements were primarily a result of changes in the purchase price allocation for estimated tax valuation allowances and reserves.
The following unaudited pro forma financial information presents the combined results of Level 3 and Global Crossing as if the completion of the Amalgamation had occurred as of January 1, 2010.
These results include certain adjustments, primarily due to a net decrease in depreciation and amortization expense due to the Company, in connection with the Amalgamation, increasing the estimated useful lives of the
acquired conduit, fiber and certain transmission equipment while increasing the fair value of tangible and intangible assets, decreases in interest expense due to Level 3's issuance of incremental debt in order to redeem and refinance Global Crossing debt that had higher interest rates than the incremental financing, and to eliminate historical transactions between Level 3 and Global Crossing. The pro forma financial information is not intended to represent or be indicative of the actual results of operations of Level 3 that would have been reported had the Amalgamation been completed on January 1, 2010, nor is it representative of future operating results of the Company. The pro forma information does not include any operating efficiencies or cost savings that Level 3 may achieve with respect to combining the companies.
Acquisition related costs include transaction costs such as legal, accounting, valuation, and other professional services as well as integration costs such as severance and retention. Acquisition related costs have been recorded in selling, general and administrative expense in the Company's consolidated statements of operations. Since the acquisition date, Level 3 incurred total acquisition related transaction costs of approximately $49 million through March 31, 2012. Since the acquisition date, Level 3 incurred total acquisition related integration costs of approximately $47 million through March 31, 2012. In addition, Level 3 expects to incur additional integration related costs through the remainder of 2012.
In April 2011, Level 3 adopted a Stockholder Rights Plan to protect its U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards from certain Internal Revenue Code Section 382 limitations. This plan was designed to deter trading that would result in a change of control (as defined in that Code Section), and therefore protect the Company's ability to use its historical federal net operating loss carryforwards in the future.
(3) Loss Per Share
The Company computes basic net loss per share by dividing net loss for the period by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period. Diluted net loss per share is computed by dividing net loss for the period by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period and including the dilutive effect of common stock that would be issued assuming conversion or exercise of outstanding convertible notes, stock options, stock based compensation awards and other dilutive securities. The effect of approximately 35 million and 47 million shares issuable pursuant to the various series of convertible notes outstanding at March 31, 2012 and March 31, 2011, respectively, have not been included in the computation of diluted loss per share because their inclusion would have been anti-dilutive to the computation. In addition, the effect of the approximately 4 million and 3 million stock options, outperform stock options, restricted stock units and warrants outstanding at March 31, 2012 and March 31, 2011, respectively, have not been included in the computation of diluted loss per share because their inclusion would have been anti-dilutive to the computation.
Level 3, through its two 50% owned joint-venture surface mines, one each in Montana and Wyoming, sold coal primarily through long-term contracts with public utilities. In November 2011, Level 3 completed the sale of its coal mining business to Ambre Energy Limited as part of its long-term strategy to focus on core business operations. As a result of the transaction, all of the assets and liabilities associated with the coal mining business have been removed from Level 3's balance sheet and the Company recognized a gain on the transaction of approximately $72 million, which was included in the consolidated statements of operations within "Income from Discontinued Operations" in the fourth quarter of 2011. Results for 2011, exclusive of the gain on the transaction, were not significant. The financial results of the coal mining business were included in the Company's consolidated results of operations through the date of sale, and the period ended March 31, 2011 has been revised to reflect the presentation within discontinued operations.
The following amounts relate to the operations of the coal business and were derived from historical financial information and have been segregated from continuing operations and reported as discontinued operations in the Consolidated Statements of Operations (dollars in millions):
(5) Acquired Intangible Assets
Identifiable acquisition-related intangible assets as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 were as follows (dollars in millions):
The gross carrying amount of identifiable acquisition-related intangible assets in the table above is subject to change due to foreign currency fluctuations, as a portion of the Company's identifiable acquisition-related intangible assets are related to foreign subsidiaries.
Acquired finite-lived intangible asset amortization expense was $25 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and $25 million for the three months ended March 31, 2011.
At March 31, 2012, the weighted average remaining useful lives of the Company's acquired finite-lived intangible assets was 2.6 years for customer contracts and relationships, 4.7 years for patents and developed technology and 3.5 years for trademarks.
As of March 31, 2012, estimated amortization expense for the Company’s finite-lived acquisition-related intangible assets over the next five years and thereafter is as follows (dollars in millions):
(6) Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The Company’s financial instruments consist of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and securities, accounts receivable, accounts payable, interest rate swaps and long-term debt (including the current portion) as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011. The carrying values of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and securities, accounts receivable, accounts payable, capital leases and other liabilities approximated their fair values at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011. The interest rate swaps are recorded in the consolidated balance sheets at fair value. See Note 7 - Derivative Financial Instruments. The carrying value of the Company’s long-term debt, including the current portion, reflects the original amounts borrowed net of unamortized discounts and premiums and was $8.4 billion and $8.5 billion as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively.
GAAP defines fair value as the price that would be received from selling an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. When determining the fair value measurements for assets and liabilities required to be recorded at fair value, the Company considers the principal or most advantageous market in which it would transact and considers assumptions that market participants would use when pricing the asset or liability, such as inherent risk, transfer restrictions, and risk of nonperformance.
Fair Value Hierarchy
GAAP establishes a fair value hierarchy that requires an entity to maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when measuring fair value. The fair value measurement of each class of assets and liabilities is dependent upon its categorization within the fair value hierarchy, based upon the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement of each class of asset and liability. GAAP establishes three levels of inputs that may be used to measure fair value:
Level 1—Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
Level 2—Observable inputs other than Level 1 prices such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities; quoted prices in markets with insufficient volume or infrequent transactions (less active markets); or model-derived valuations in which all significant inputs are observable or can be derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities.
Level 3—Unobservable inputs to the valuation methodology that are significant to the measurement of fair value of assets or liabilities.
The table below presents the fair values for each class of Level 3’s liabilities as well as the input levels used to determine these fair values as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:
The Company does not have any assets or liabilities measured using significant unobservable inputs (Level 3).
The interest rate swaps are measured in accordance with the GAAP Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures guidance using discounted cash flow techniques that use observable market inputs, such as LIBOR-based forward yield curves, forward rates, and the specific swap rate stated in each of the swap agreements.
The fair value of the Term Loans was approximately $2.6 billion and $2.5 billion at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. The fair value of each loan is based on the March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 trading quotes as provided by large financial institutions that trade in the Company’s Term Loans. The pricing quotes provided by these market participants incorporate LIBOR curve expectations, interest spread, corporate and loan credit ratings, maturity date (March 2014 and September 2018) and liquidity, among other loan characteristics and relative value across other instruments of similar terms. The interest spread, for the $1.4 billion Tranche A Term Loan is LIBOR plus 2.25% (aggregate principal value) and LIBOR plus 4.25% with a LIBOR floor of 1.5% for the Tranche B II and Tranche B III Term Loans, respectively. See Note 8 - Long-Term Debt for details.
The Term Loans are secured by a pledge of the equity interests in certain U.S.-based subsidiaries of Level 3 Financing; 65% of the equity interests in each of Level 3 Financing’s Canadian subsidiary, and its Bermuda subsidiary that indirectly owns Global Crossing's non-U.S. subsidiaries; and liens on the assets of Level 3 Communications, Inc. and certain U.S.-based subsidiaries of Level 3 Financing. In addition, Level 3 Communications, Inc. and certain U.S.-based subsidiaries of Level 3 Financing have provided full and unconditional guarantees of the obligations under the Term Loans.
The estimated fair value of the Company’s Senior Notes approximated $5.1 billion and $4.8 billion at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, based on market prices. The fair value of each instrument was based on the March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 trading quotes as provided by large financial institutions that trade in the Company’s securities. The pricing quotes provided by these market participants incorporate spreads to the Treasury curve, security coupon (which ranges from LIBOR plus 2.25% to 11.875%), corporate and security credit ratings, maturity date (ranging from 2014 to 2020) and liquidity, among other security characteristics and relative value at both the borrower entity level and across other securities of similar terms.
The 11.875% Senior Notes due 2019 are obligations of the Company and are not guaranteed by its subsidiaries. The remaining Senior Notes are obligations of Level 3 Financing, Inc. and as of April 30, 2012, are all fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Level 3 Communications, Inc. and Level 3 Communications, LLC.
The estimated fair value of the Company’s actively traded 6.5% Convertible Senior Notes due 2016 was approximately $329 million at March 31, 2012 and $247 million at December 31, 2011. The fair value of the Company’s actively traded Convertible Notes is based on the trading quotes as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 provided by large financial institutions that trade in the Company’s securities. The estimated fair value of the Company’s Convertible Notes that are not actively traded, such as the 7% Convertible Senior Notes due 2015, the 7% Convertible Senior Notes due 2015, Series B, and the 15% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013, approximated $969 million at March 31, 2012 and $834 million at December 31, 2011. A portion of the Company's 15% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013 were exchanged for equity during the first quarter of 2012, as discussed in Note 8 - Long-Term Debt. To estimate the fair value of the Convertible Notes that are not actively traded, Level 3 used a Black-Scholes valuation model and an income approach using discounted cash flows. The most significant inputs affecting the valuation are the pricing quotes provided by market participants that incorporate spreads to the Treasury curve, security coupon (ranging from 7% to 15%), convertible optionality, corporate and security credit ratings, maturity date (ranging from 2013 to 2015), liquidity, and other equity option inputs, such as the risk-free rate, underlying stock price, strike price of the embedded derivative, estimated volatility and maturity inputs for the option component and for the bond component, among other security characteristics and relative value at both the borrower entity level and across other securities with similar terms. The fair value of each instrument is obtained by adding together the value derived by discounting the security’s coupon or interest payment using a risk-adjusted discount rate and the value calculated from the embedded equity option based on the estimated volatility of the Company’s stock price, conversion rate of the particular Convertible Note, remaining time to maturity, and risk-free rate. The Convertible Notes are unsecured obligations of Level 3 Communications, Inc. No subsidiary of Level 3 Communications, Inc. has provided a guarantee of the Convertible Notes.
The fair value of the Commercial Mortgage was approximately $73 million at both March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, as compared to the carrying amounts of $64 million and $65 million, respectively. The Commercial Mortgage is not actively traded and its fair value is estimated by management using a valuation model based on an income approach. The significant inputs used to estimate fair value of this debt instrument using discounted cash flows include the anticipated scheduled mortgage payments and observable market yields on other actively traded debt of similar characteristics and collateral type.
The Commercial Mortgage is a secured obligation of HQ Realty, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. HQ Realty, Inc.’s obligations under the Commercial Mortgage are secured by a first priority lien on the Company’s headquarters campus located at 1025 Eldorado Boulevard, Broomfield, Colorado 80021 and certain HQ Realty, Inc. cash and reserve accounts.
The assets of HQ Realty, Inc. are not available to satisfy any third party obligations other than those of HQ Realty, Inc. In addition, the assets of the Company and its subsidiaries other than HQ Realty, Inc. are not available to satisfy the obligations of HQ Realty, Inc.
(7) Derivative Financial Instruments
The Company uses derivative financial instruments, primarily interest rate swaps, to manage its exposure to fluctuations in interest rate movements. The Company’s primary objective in managing interest rate risk is to decrease the volatility of its earnings and cash flows affected by changes in the underlying rates. To achieve this objective, the Company enters into financial derivatives, primarily interest rate swap agreements, the values of which change in the opposite direction of the anticipated future cash flows. The Company has floating rate long-term debt (see Note 8 - Long-Term Debt). These obligations expose the Company to variability in interest payments due to changes in interest rates. If interest rates increase, interest expense increases. Conversely, if interest rates decrease, interest expense also decreases. The Company has designated its interest rate swap agreements as cash flow hedges. Swaps designated as cash flow hedges involve the receipt of variable-rate amounts from a counterparty in exchange for the Company making fixed-rate payments over the lives of the agreements without exchange of the underlying notional amount. The change in the fair value of the interest rate swap agreements is reflected in Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) (“AOCI”) and is subsequently reclassified into earnings in the period that the hedged transaction affects earnings, due to the fact that the interest rate swap agreements qualify as effective cash flow hedges. The Company does not use derivative financial instruments for speculative purposes.
In March 2007, Level 3 Financing Inc., the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, entered into two interest rate swap agreements to hedge the interest payments on $1 billion notional amount of floating rate debt. The two interest rate swap agreements are with different counterparties and are for $500 million each. The transactions were effective beginning in April 2007 and mature in January 2014. The Company uses interest rate swaps to convert specific variable rate debt issuances into fixed rate debt. Under the terms of the interest rate swap transactions, the Company receives interest payments based on rolling three month LIBOR terms and pays interest at the fixed rate of 4.93% under one arrangement and 4.92% under the other. The Company evaluates the effectiveness of the hedges on a quarterly basis. The Company measures effectiveness by offsetting the change in the variable portion of the interest rate swaps with the changes in interest expense paid due to fluctuations in the LIBOR-based interest rate. During the periods presented, these derivatives were used to hedge the variable cash flows associated with existing obligations. The Company recognizes any ineffective portion of the change in fair value of the hedged item in the consolidated statements of operations. All components of the interest rate swaps were included in the assessment of hedge effectiveness. Hedge ineffectiveness for the Company’s cash flow hedges was not material in any period presented.
The Company is exposed to credit related losses in the event of non-performance by counterparties. The counterparties to any of the financial derivatives the Company enters into are major institutions with investment grade credit ratings. The Company evaluates counterparty credit risk before entering into any hedge transaction and continues to closely monitor the financial market and the risk that its counterparties will default on their obligations. This credit risk is generally limited to the unrealized gains in such contracts, should any of these counterparties fail to perform as contracted.
Amounts in AOCI related to derivatives are indirectly recognized in earnings as periodic settlements occur throughout the term of the swaps, when the related interest payments are made on the Company’s variable-rate debt. As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company had the following outstanding derivatives that were designated as cash flow hedges of interest rate risk:
The table below presents the fair value of the Company’s derivative financial instruments as well as their classification on the consolidated balance sheets as follows (dollars in millions):
The amount of gains recognized in Other Comprehensive Loss consists of the following (dollars in millions):
The amount of gains (losses) reclassified from AOCI to Income/Loss (effective portions) consists of the following (dollars in millions):
Changes in the fair value of interest rate swaps designated as hedging instruments of the variability of cash flows associated with floating-rate, long-term debt obligations are reported in AOCI. These amounts subsequently are reclassified into interest expense as a yield adjustment of the hedged debt obligation in the same period in which the related interest on the floating-rate debt obligations affects earnings. Amounts currently included in AOCI will be reclassified to earnings prior to the settlement of these cash flow hedging contracts in 2014. The Company estimates that $44 million of net losses on the interest rate swaps (based on the estimated LIBOR curve as of March 31, 2012) will be reclassified into earnings within the next twelve months. The Company’s interest rate swap agreements designated as cash flow hedging contracts qualify as effective hedge relationships, and as a result, hedge ineffectiveness was not material in any of the periods presented.
(8) Long-Term Debt
As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, long-term debt was as follows:
* The $1.4 billion Tranche A Term Loan due 2014 had an effective interest rate of 2.73% and 2.65% as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively, excluding the effect of the $1 billion notional amount interest rate swaps. The $650 million Tranche B II Term Loan due 2018 and the $550 million Tranche B III Term Loan due 2018 had an interest rate of 5.75% as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011.
First Quarter 2012 Debt Issuance and Related Redemption
8.625% Senior Notes due 2020
On January 13, 2012, Level 3 Financing completed the offering of $900 million aggregate principal of its 8.625% Senior Notes due 2020 (the "8.625% Senior Notes"). Debt issuance costs of approximately $20 million were capitalized and are being amortized over the term of the 8.625% Senior Notes. In February 2012, a portion of the net proceeds from the offering of the 8.625% Senior Notes were used to redeem all of Level 3 Financing's outstanding 9.25% Senior Notes due 2014 in aggregate principal amount of $807 million. The Company recognized a loss on extinguishment of debt of $22 million in the first quarter of 2012 as a result of the redemption of the 9.25% Senior Notes due 2014.
The remaining net proceeds constitute purchase money indebtedness under the existing senior secured credit agreement and indentures of the Company and Level 3 Financing and are being used solely to fund the cost of construction, installation, acquisition, lease, development or improvement of any Telecommunications/IS assets (as defined in the existing senior secured credit agreement and indentures of Level 3), including cash purchase price of any past, pending or future acquisitions.
The 8.625% Senior Notes will mature on July 15, 2020. Interest on the notes will accrue from January 13, 2012 and will be payable on January 15 and July 15 of each year, beginning on July 15, 2012. The notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed on an unsubordinated and unsecured basis by the Company and became fully and unconditionally guaranteed by Level 3 Communications, LLC in the second quarter of 2012 (see Note 13 - Subsequent Events). The notes are unsecured, unsubordinated obligations of Level 3 Financing, ranking equal in right of payment with all existing and future unsubordinated indebtedness of Level 3 Financing, and are senior in right of payment to all existing and future indebtedness of Level 3 Financing expressly subordinated in right of payment to the notes.
The 8.625% Senior Notes are subject to redemption at the option of Level 3 Financing in whole or in part, at any time before January 15, 2016 at the redemption price equal to 100% of their principal amount, plus a make-whole premium and accrued an unpaid interest. On and after January 15, 2016, Level 3 Financing may redeem all or part of the 8.625% Senior Notes, upon not less than 30 nor more than 60 days' prior notice, at the redemption prices set forth below (expressed as a percentage of principal amount), plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon (if any) to, but not including, the redemption date (subject to the right of holders of record on the relevant record date to receive interest due on the relevant interest payment date), if redeemed during the twelve months beginning January 15, of the years indicated below:
In addition, at any time or from time to time on or prior to January 15, 2015, Level 3 Financing may redeem up to 35% of the original aggregate principal amount of the 8.625% Senior Notes (including any additional 8.625% Senior Notes) at a redemption price equal to 108.625% of the principal amount of the 8.625% Senior Notes so redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest thereon (if any) to the redemption date (subject to the right of holders of record on the relevant record date to receive interest due on the relevant interest payment date), with the net cash proceeds contributed to the capital of Level 3 Financing of one or more private placements to persons other than Affiliates of Level 3 or underwritten public offerings of Common Stock of Level 3 resulting, in each case, in gross proceeds of at least $100 million in aggregate; provided, however, that at least 65% of the original aggregate principal amount of the 8.625% Senior Notes (including any additional 8.625% Senior Notes) would remain outstanding immediately after giving effect to such redemption. Any such redemption shall be made within 90 days of such private placement or public offering upon not less than 30 nor more than 60 days' prior notice.
First Quarter 2012 Debt Exchange
On March 13, 2012, the Company entered into an exchange agreement for a portion of its 15% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013. Pursuant to the agreement, the holder of approximately $100 million aggregate principal amount of Level 3's outstanding 15% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013 agreed to exchange that debt for approximately 3.7 million shares of Level 3's common stock into which the notes were convertible plus an additional 1.7 million shares for a total of approximately 5.4 million shares. The consideration was based on the market price for these notes plus an inducement premium and included a payment for accrued and unpaid interest from January 15, 2012 through March 15, 2012 of approximately $2 million. This transaction did not include the payment by the Company of any cash. The Company recognized a loss on inducement included in loss on extinguishment of debt of $39 million in the first quarter of 2012 as a result of the exchange of the 15% Convertible Senior Notes due 2013.
Long-Term Debt Maturities
Aggregate future contractual maturities of long-term debt and capital leases (excluding issue discounts, premiums and fair value adjustments) were as follows as of March 31, 2012 (dollars in millions):
(9) Stock-Based Compensation
The following table summarizes non-cash compensation expense and capitalized non-cash compensation for three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 (dollars in millions):
The Company capitalizes non-cash compensation for those employees directly involved in the construction of the network, installation of services for customers or development of business support systems. As of March 31, 2012, there were approximately 1 million outperform stock options (“OSOs”) outstanding. As of March 31, 2012, there were approximately 2 million nonvested restricted stock and restricted stock units (“RSUs”) outstanding. In addition, as of March 31, 2012, there were approximately five hundred thousand non-qualified stock options outstanding.
(10) Segment Information
Accounting guidance for the disclosures about segments of an enterprise defines operating segments as components of an enterprise for which separate financial information is available and which is evaluated regularly by the Company’s chief operating decision maker, or decision making group, in deciding how to allocate resources and assess performance. As a result of the integration of Global Crossing (see Note 2 - Events Associated with the Amalgamation of Global Crossing) and the sale of the coal business during the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company reorganized its management reporting structure to reflect the way in which it allocates resources and assesses performance. As a result of these changes, the Company is now comprised of one reportable segment for financial reporting purposes, representing its communications services business. The prior year reportable segment information has been revised to conform with this presentation.
The Company evaluates performance based upon Adjusted EBITDA, as defined by the Company, as net income (loss) from the consolidated statements of operations before (1) income tax benefit (expense), (2) total other income (expense), (3) non-cash impairment charges included within restructuring and impairment charges, (4) depreciation and amortization expense, (5) non-cash stock compensation expense included within selling, general and administrative expenses and (6) discontinued operations.
The data presented in the following table includes information for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011. Information related to the acquired business is included from the date of acquisition, and information related to dispositions is included through the date of sale.
Total revenue consists of:
The following table provides revenue (dollars in millions):
The prior year's revenue by service offering has been revised to conform to the current year's presentation.
(11) Commitments, Contingencies and Other Items
The Company is subject to various legal proceedings and other contingent liabilities that individually or in the aggregate could materially affect its financial condition, future results of operations or cash flows. Amounts accrued for such contingencies aggregate $306 million and are included in “Other” current liabilities and “Other Liabilities” in the Company's consolidated balance sheet as of March 31, 2012. The establishment of an accrual does not mean that actual funds have been set aside to satisfy a given contingency. Thus, the resolution of a particular contingency for the amount accrued may have no effect on the Company's results of operations but could materially adversely
affect its cash flows for the affected period.
In accordance with the accounting guidance for contingencies, the Company accrues its estimate of a contingent liability when it is both probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Where it is probable that a liability has been incurred and there is a range of expected loss for which no amount in the range is more likely than any other amount, the Company accrues at the low end of the range. The Company reviews its accruals at least quarterly and adjusts them to reflect the impact of negotiations, settlements, rulings, advice of legal counsel, and other information and events pertaining to a particular matter. In addition, adjustments to the accruals established for Global Crossing's contingent liabilities may be made in connection with the purchase price allocation of acquired assets and assumed liabilities under acquisition accounting, which is expected to be completed no later than October 4, 2012. Any such accrual adjustments would generally not affect results of operations but rather would result in an increase or decrease to goodwill associated with the Global Crossing acquisition.
Below is a description of material legal proceedings and other contingencies pending at March 31, 2012. Although the Company believes it has accrued for these matters in accordance with the accounting guidance for contingencies, contingencies are inherently unpredictable and it is possible that results of operations or cash flows could be materially and adversely affected in any particular period by unfavorable developments in, or resolution or disposition of, one or more of these matters. For those contingencies in respect of which the Company believes that it is reasonably possible that a loss may result that is materially in excess of the accrual (if any) established for the matter, the Company has below either provided an estimate of such possible loss or range of loss or included a statement that such an estimate cannot be made. In addition to the contingencies described below, the Company is party to many other legal proceedings and contingencies the resolution of which is not expected to materially affect its financial condition or future results of operations beyond the amounts accrued.
The Company is party to a number of purported class action lawsuits involving its right to install fiber optic cable network in railroad right-of-ways adjacent to plaintiffs' land. In general, the Company obtained the rights to construct its networks from railroads, utilities, and others, and has installed its networks along the rights-of-way so granted. Plaintiffs in the purported class actions assert that they are the owners of lands over which the its fiber optic cable networks pass, and that the railroads, utilities, and others who granted the Company the right to construct and maintain its network did not have the legal authority to do so. The complaints seek damages on theories of trespass, unjust enrichment and slander of title and property, as well as punitive damages. The Company has also received, and may in the future receive, claims and demands related to rights-of-way issues similar to the issues in these cases that may be based on similar or different legal theories. The Company has defeated motions for class certification in a number of these actions but expects that, absent settlement of these actions, plaintiffs in the pending lawsuits will continue to seek certification of statewide or multi-state classes. The only lawsuit in which a class was certified against the Company, absent an agreed upon settlement, occurred in Koyle, et. al. v. Level 3 Communications, Inc., et. al., a purported two state class action filed in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. The Koyle lawsuit has been dismissed pursuant to a settlement reached in November 2010 as described further below.
The Company negotiated a series of class settlements affecting all persons who own or owned land next to or near railroad rights of way in which it has installed its fiber optic cable networks. The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Kingsborough v. Sprint Communications Co. L.P. granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement; however, on September 10, 2009, the court denied a motion for final approval of the settlement on the basis that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and dismissed the case.
In November 2010, the Company negotiated revised settlement terms for a series of state class settlements affecting all persons who own or owned land next to or near railroad rights of way in which the Company has installed its fiber optic cable networks. The Company is currently pursuing presentment of the settlement in applicable jurisdictions. The settlements affecting current and former landowners in the states of Idaho, Illinois, and Alabama have received final court approval and the parties are engaged in the claims process for those states. The settlement has been presented to federal courts in several additional states for approval.
Management believes that the Company has substantial defenses to the claims asserted in all of these actions and intends to defend them vigorously if a satisfactory settlement is not ultimately approved for all affected landowners.
In March 2009, Level 3 Communications, Inc., as a nominal defendant, certain of its directors and its current officers, and a former officer, were named as defendants in purported stockholder derivative actions in the District Court, Broomfield County, Colorado, which have been consolidated as In re Level 3 Communications, Inc. Derivative Litigation (Lead Case No. 2009CV59) (the “State Derivative Action”). The plaintiffs in the action allege that during the period specified in the complaints the named defendants failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's integration activities, business and operations. The complaint seeks damages on behalf of the Company based on purported breaches of fiduciary duties for disseminating false and misleading statements and failing to maintain internal controls; unjust enrichment; abuse of control; gross mismanagement; waste of corporate assets; and, with respect to certain defendants, breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the resignation of Kevin O'Hara. The plaintiffs are undertaking further assessment of the State Derivative Action following the final dismissal of a related securities class action lawsuit which was based upon similar allegations. In the event that this action proceeds forward, management believes that the complaint has numerous deficiencies, including that the plaintiffs failed to make a demand on the Company's Board of Directors before filing the suit, and intends to defend this action vigorously.
Peruvian Tax Litigation
Beginning in 2005, one of the Company's Peruvian subsidiaries received a number of assessments for tax, penalty and interest for calendar years 2001 and 2002. Peruvian tax authorities (SUNAT) took the position that the Peruvian subsidiary incorrectly documented its importations resulting in additional income tax withholding and value-added taxes (VAT). The total amount of the asserted claims, including potential interest and penalties, was $26 million, consisting of $3 million for income tax withholding in connection with the import of services for calendar years 2001 and 2002, $7 million in connection with VAT in connection with the import of services for calendar years 2001 and 2002, and $16 million in connection with the disallowance of VAT credits for periods beginning in 2005. Due to accrued interest and foreign exchange effects, and taking into account the developments described below, the total assessments have increased to $88 million.
The Company challenged the tax assessments during 2005 by filing administrative claims before SUNAT. During August 2006 and June 2007 SUNAT rejected the Company's administrative claims, thereby confirming the assessments. Appeals were filed in September 2006 and July 2007 in the Tax Court, which is the highest administrative authority. In October 2011, the Tax Court issued a ruling regarding VAT, associated penalties and penalties associated with withholding taxes, adjudicating the central issue underlying the assessments in the government's favor, while confirming the assessment in part and denying a portion of the assessment on procedural grounds. Other than an immaterial amount, all assessed items dismissed by the Tax Court in this ruling remain open for reassessment by SUNAT. While this Tax Court ruling applies only to 2002, the Company believes the Tax Court will issue a similar ruling with respect to 2001, and all material amounts likely to be waived due to procedural defects similarly remain open for reassessment.
In November 2011, the Tax Court issued a ruling with respect to assessed 2001 withholding tax, holding that the statute of limitations had run prior to assessment by SUNAT. The Company believes that this adjudication of the withholding tax issue is likely to be final, and the Company expects to win a similar verdict with respect to assessed 2002 withholding tax. Penalties with respect to withholding tax, however, are not time-barred, and were confirmed in the Tax Court's October 2011 ruling.
The Company has appealed the Tax Court's October 2011 decision to the judicial court in Peru. The Company has not received Tax Court rulings for all periods, but it has received adjudications of each substantive issue for at least one period. As a result, the Company expects decisions for the remaining open periods to be consistent with decisions already rendered. The Company intends to appeal any Tax Court verdict with respect to 2001 to the extent
consistent with the October 2011 decision in the government's favor, and will protest any reassessment of amounts dismissed by the Tax Court on procedural grounds.
Employee Severance and Contractor Termination Disputes
A number of former employees and third-party contractors have asserted a variety of claims in litigation against certain Latin American subsidiaries of the Company for separation pay, severance, commissions, pension benefits, unpaid vacation pay, breach of employment contracts, unpaid performance bonuses, property damages, moral damages and related statutory penalties, fines, costs and expenses (including accrued interest, attorneys fees and statutorily mandated inflation adjustments) as a result of their separation from the Company or termination of service relationships. The Company is vigorously defending itself against the asserted claims, which aggregate to approximately $41 million.
Brazilian Tax Claims
In December 2004, March 2009 and April 2009, the São Paulo state tax authorities issued tax assessments against one of the Company's Brazilian subsidiaries for the Tax on Distribution of Goods and Services (“ICMS”) with respect to revenues from leasing movable properties (in the case of the December 2004 and March 2009 assessments) and revenues from the provision of internet access services (in the case of the April 2009 assessment), by treating such activities as the provision of communications services, to which the ICMS tax applies. In September 2002 and July 2009, the Rio de Janeiro state tax authorities issued tax assessments to the same Brazilian subsidiary on identical issues. The Company has filed objections to these assessments, arguing that the lease of assets and the provision of internet access are not communication services subject to ICMS. The objections to the December 2004 and September 2002 assessments have been rejected by the respective state administrative courts, and the Company has appealed those decisions to the judicial courts. The objections to the March, April and July 2009 assessments are still pending final administrative decisions.
The Company is vigorously contesting all such assessments in both states, and in particular, views the assessment of ICMS on revenues from leasing movable properties to be without merit. Nevertheless, the Company believes that it is reasonably possible that these assessments could result in a loss of up to $57 million in excess of the accruals established for these matters.
Customer Bankruptcy Claim
During 2007 one of the Company's U.S. subsidiaries commenced default and disconnect procedures against a customer for breach of a sales contract for termination of international and domestic wireless and wireline phone service based on the nature of the customer's traffic, which rendered the contract highly unprofitable to the Company. After the process was begun, the customer filed for bankruptcy protection, thereby barring the Company from taking further disconnection actions against it. The Company commenced an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court, asserting a claim for damages for the customer's alleged breaches of the contract and for a declaration that, as a result of these breaches, the customer was prohibited from assuming the contract in its reorganization proceedings.
The customer filed several counterclaims against the Company alleging various breaches of contract for attempting improperly to terminate service, for improperly blocking international traffic, for violations of the Communications Act of 1934 and for related tort-based claims. The Company notified the customer that the Company would be raising its rates for certain of the services and filed a motion with the bankruptcy court seeking additional adequate assurance for the rate change, or an order allowing the Company to terminate the customer's service. The customer amended its counter claims to assert claims for breach of contract based upon the rate increase. On July 3, 2008, the Court issued an opinion holding that the agreement did not permit the Company to increase the rates in the manner it did and that the Company: (a) breached the sales contract in so doing; and (b) was therefore not entitled to additional adequate assurance or an order terminating service. The Court did, however, permit the Company to amend its complaint to plead a rescission claim (which was filed on July 14, 2008) and to assert other defenses.
The Court dismissed the customer's bankruptcy case by order dated November 25, 2009, and retained the adversary proceeding (including the customer's counterclaim), which has continued. On December 26, 2009, the Company terminated service to the customer. The Company amended its complaint to include allegations relating to the manipulation of traffic data, so called “ANI stripping,” and the customer filed an amended answer, affirmative defenses and counterclaims.
On January 14, 2011, the Company filed a motion for summary judgment asserting that the customer was not entitled to recover any damages (other than those based on rescission-type theories) by reason of a limitation of liability provision in the contract and applicable law. On July 22, 2011, the Court issued its decision on the motion. Although the Court held that the limitation of liability provision of the contract was valid and enforceable and barred the customer from pursuing all forms of lost profit damages, the Court refused to exclude the customer's claim for general damages at that point, and permitted that issue to proceed.
Discovery in the action is now concluded and the Court ordered trial to proceed in three separate phases. Trial of the first set of issues commenced on November 14, 2011. After the Court heard testimony from four witnesses, the matter was adjourned until January 23, 2012, at which time further testimony was taken for three days. The customer's most recent damage estimate ranged from approximately $150 million to approximately $450 million. While the final outcome of this matter was uncertain, the Company believed Global Crossing had good defenses that would have limited substantially the amount of damages recoverable by the customer, including defenses based upon the limitation of liability provisions in the contract. However, the precise effect of the application of these defenses was unclear, and the Company therefore elected to settle the case for an amount approximately equal to the accrual that the Company had established for the matter. The settlement agreement was entered into by the parties effective on April 11, 2012, and the parties filed a stipulation with the Court on April 13, 2012, pursuant to which the case was dismissed with prejudice.
Letters of Credit
It is customary for Level 3 to use various financial instruments in the normal course of business. These instruments include letters of credit. Letters of credit are conditional commitments issued on behalf of Level 3 in accordance with specified terms and conditions. As of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, Level 3 had outstanding letters of credit of approximately $31 million and $33 million, respectively, of which $29 million and $29 million, are collateralized by cash, that is reflected on the consolidated balance sheets as restricted cash. The Company does not believe it is reasonable to estimate the fair value of the letters of credit and does not believe exposure to loss is reasonably possible nor material.
(12) Condensed Consolidating Financial Information
Level 3 Financing, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, has issued Senior Notes that are unsecured obligations of Level 3 Financing; however, they are also jointly and severally and fully and unconditionally guaranteed on an unsecured senior basis by Level 3 Communications, Inc. and Level 3 Communications, LLC.
In conjunction with the registration of the Senior Notes, other than the 8.125% Senior Notes due 2019 and the 8.625% Senior Notes due 2020, the accompanying condensed consolidating financial information has been prepared and presented pursuant to SEC Regulation S-X Rule 3-10 “Financial statements of guarantors and affiliates whose securities collateralize an issue registered or being registered.” See Note 13 - Subsequent Events, for additional information.
The operating activities of the separate legal entities included in the Company’s consolidated financial statements are interdependent. The accompanying condensed consolidating financial information presents the results of operations, financial position and cash flows of each legal entity and, on an aggregate basis, the other non-guarantor subsidiaries based on amounts incurred by such entities, and is not intended to present the operating results of those legal entities on a stand-alone basis. Level 3 Communications, LLC leases equipment and certain facilities from other wholly owned subsidiaries of Level 3 Communications, Inc. These transactions are eliminated in the consolidated results of the Company.
Condensed Consolidating Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)
For the three months ended March 31, 2012
Condensed Consolidating Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)
For the three months ended March 31, 2011