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First Union Cuts Global Crossing Rating

First Union downgraded Global Crossing (GX) to market perform from buy.

Analyst Frank Murphy says research suggests the industry is seeing a slowing rate of long-term indefeasible rights of use (IRU) commitments, opting instead for short-term capacity contracts. He says including $1.6 billion this month, Global Crossing appears over funded by $749 million. However, he notes this assumes a total of $3.6 billion in new IRU sales through 2002, or about $510 million per quarter. He says Global Crossing sold about $600 million in IRUs in Q1. He notes the timing of recent insider selling, albeit relatively minor percentages of total ownership, also adds to his concern over visibility. He sees a $3.07 2001 loss per share, and a $2.62 2002 loss.

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