WorldCom warns of another restatement

Bankrupt telecommunications service provider WorldCom Inc. expects to make an additional restatement of its past financial results that might bring the total of all its adjustments to more than US$9 billion, the company warned in a statement Tuesday.

The company has restated past results twice already this year, making adjustments that reduced its pretax profit by about $7.68 billion for periods in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002. The Clinton, Mississippi, company faces both criminal investigations and civil suits.

The warning was given to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during settlement discussions, according to the WorldCom statement. It was based on "very preliminary reviews of past accounting," the company said. Once WorldCom's review is complete it will make the final information public, it said. The company said restatements of past earnings won't affect WorldCom's ability to continue providing services or to emerge from bankruptcy in mid-2003.

According to a news report Tuesday, WorldCom and the SEC have presented to the federal judge overseeing the case a plan for settlement of the SEC's charges against the company. A deal might be announced within a week or two, the report said.

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