Nortel says it's not investigating improper conduct

Nortel Networks Corp. clarified Monday that its plans to restate results back to 2003 are not because the company is investigating improper conduct. "The company wishes to clarify that Nortel's internal and external auditors have not undertaken an investigation as to whether any improper conduct may be associated with the need to effect the latest restatement," the company said in a statement Monday.

The restatement, which was announced last Friday, was the third in recent years and brought sharp negative reactions from some analysts. It was those analyst comments that the Brampton, Ontario-based company apparently sought to quell with Monday's statement.

But Nortel customers seem to be unfazed by any of it. "Nobody is upset or concerned," Steve Ford, president of the International Nortel Networks User Association (INNUA) in Chicago, said Tuesday. "We kind of take [the restatements] like water off a duck's back."

Ford, who is coordinator for electronic service at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., heads the largest Nortel user group, with about 5,000 members.

Ford said the INNUA board was holding a meeting Friday when Nortel's management called to inform itof the restatement.

"They explained things and get credit for contacting us proactively," Ford said. "It's not that Nortel lost revenue. They just put it in the wrong quarter."