Nortel (NT) is in danger of blowing yet another deadline.
Mired in bookkeeping blunders, the Brampton, Ontario, phone gearmaker says its
listing will come under formal review unless the company is able to file financial reports by year-end.
The exchanges don't appear to be in any rush to delist the telecom equipment giant, though. Nortel says it has received "verbal" confirmation from officials at the NYSE and the Toronto Stock Exchange that there is currently no review that could lead to a delisting.
Nortel shares rose 3% early Wednesday as investors cheered the wide berth the company continues to command despite its failure to fix its books after months of audits.
Earlier this month, Nortel shocked observers with the discovery of $3.1 billion in misbooked revenue from 1999 and 2000. About $250 million of that figure was deemed entirely bogus. The company said new developments will further delay the protracted restatement process, and that could push the filings off until mid-January.
If Nortel can't file its quarterly and annual reports with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
by Dec. 30, the NYSE will contemplate a formal review of the company's listing status. To be sure, the review is standard procedure, and the NYSE has the discretion to give Nortel three additional months to get its financials in order.
Nortel started probing its books last year and has had to postpone its filings all year. The filing delays have run afoul of credit agreements, and Nortel has had to seek four waivers from its lender, Export Development Canada.
Nortel rose 11 cents Wednesday to $3.28.