Nortel posts $27.3 billion loss in 2001

Friday January 18, 2002

TORONTO — Nortel Networks posted a $1.83 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2001, bringing its total loss for 2001 to $27.3 billion, the company announced Thursday. 

The results included a loss of 57 cents a share in the final quarter of a year in which Nortel saw its work force cut by half and stock prices fall from triple digits to below $10 a share. 

Despite the losses, the results were better than a forecast issued Dec. 21 that predicted a fourth-quarter loss of 61 cents a share. 

Revenue for the quarter was $3.46 billion, far less than the $8.2 billion in the same quarter a year ago but better than the $3.4 billion forecast last month. 

In its announcement, Nortel said it expected to return a profit in the fourth quarter of 2002. 

The company’s stock has plunged 90 percent in less than a year, losing more than $300 billion in market value. 

Nortel has been troubled for almost a year because of problems that have dominated the meltdown of the technology industry: misguided acquisitions at sky-high prices, overly aggressive expansion, risky lending practices with new customers and a tendency toward exuberant forecasts. 

The company is cutting its work force to 45,000 from nearly 95,000 workers.