Shares of

Nortel

(NT)

were unable to hold on to a minor rally, despite favorable research reports that came out of the company¿s

conference with analysts in Boston.

Shares in the fiber-optics giant, which have lost about 41% of their value since the company's third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 24, recently slipped 1%, or 44 cents, to $37.75. The 52-week high of $89.

Lehman Brothers

maintained an outperform rating and $55 price target for Nortel, citing the management's positive tone during the conference.

ABN Amro

reaffirmed Nortel's buy rating and said the weak stock price could present a good buying opportunity.

During the conference on Tuesday, Nortel told analysts to expect sales growth of optical equipment "north of 40%" in 2001, which would be shy of forecasts.