Trading in

Nortel Networks

(NT)

was delayed as it plunged 35.8% preopen after falling to a 52-week low of $19.

After the close Thursday, it had lowered its 2001 outlook for growth in revenue and earnings per share by about half, to the 10% to 15% range, and said it expects a first-quarter loss of 4 cents a share.

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The telecom equipment maker blamed the economic downturn in the U.S. and said the slowdown would continue well into the year.

Nortel also said it would cut 10,000 jobs, 4,000 more than previously announced.

Credit Suisse First Boston

downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy and slashed its price target to $40 from $80.

Lehman Brothers

lowered its 2001 earnings estimate to 72 cents a share from 97 cents and sliced its 12-month price target to $26 from $50.