May 17 (Reuters) - Shares of fiberoptic network operator Level 3 Communications Inc could rise 20 percent in the next year as it is well positioned to benefit from an expected tripling in broadband usage in coming years, according to the Barron's financial newspaper.
The company's free cash flow is expected to jump 60 percent next year to about $1.03 billion and its shares could climb to $66 in a year and continue rising, the article in the May 18 edition of Barron's forecast.
"The balance sheet has gone from distressed to healthy and rapidly improving," Vinson Walden of Thornburg Investment Management told the newspaper.
Level 3 shares are up 12 percent so far this year after closing at $55.48 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Dominic Evans)