Global Crossing Keeps Listing

Global Crossing (GLBCE) got a reprieve from the Nasdaq Tuesday, as the exchange's listings panel allowed the company's shares to continue trading through the end of this month.

The Florham Park, N.J., company said it would need to file documents with regulators by July 30 in order to return to full compliance with exchange listing requirements. Global Crossing has been facing possible delisting for more than two months, ever since the company shocked Wall Street this spring with a series of accounting bombshells.

"We've made significant progress on both internal and independent reviews of cost of access issues, including the completion of Deloitte and Touche's investigation, which did not reveal any management integrity issues," said CEO John Legere. "We're grateful for the panel's decision today, which gives us time to finalize our financials and return to compliance."

Global Crossing shares rose 18 cents Tuesday to $16.28.

The company, which emerged from bankruptcy protection late last year, said Grant Thornton LLP is in the process of auditing its cost of access liabilities and cost of access expenses. The auditor is also "evaluating the appropriate accounting treatment for any potential understatement to determine whether it can reissue its previously withdrawn audit reports," Global Crossing said. Once Grant Thornton completes its audit work, the company hopes to make the appropriate filings with the SEC to regain compliance with SEC requirements.

This spring, Grant Thornton withdrew its audit reports for the past three quarters, saying the firm couldn't "continue to be associated with" Global Crossing's financial statements.

Grant Thornton was replaced by Ernst & Young on April 1 after it reported some concerns about the company's methods. Grant Thornton had raised questions about what it called "significant deficiencies" that, in the aggregate, constituted "material weaknesses" in Global Crossing's accounting.

Global Crossing then said later in April it would have to restate its 2003 financial results because it underestimated access costs. Those include expenses like the fees Global Crossing owes other phone companies that handle its traffic.

The company has said its own preliminary review uncovered between $50 million and $80 million in understated access liabilities in 2003. Access costs -- totaling $2 billion last year -- are the largest expenses for the company.

Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2002 amid a swirl of accounting questions, a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and the dramatic decline in the telecom industry. The company emerged from bankruptcy on Dec. 9 with the financial support of Singapore Technologies Telemedia.

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