Sonus Networks Receives SEC Notice of Investigation

Sonus Networks Inc. (SONS), a maker of software for Internet-based phone calling, received a formal notice that U.S. regulators are investigating the company's stock options practices.

The order from the Securities and Exchange Commission was received March 15, Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based Sonus said today in a regulatory filing. The company on Feb. 28 said it was expecting such an order, which grants the SEC power to subpoena any witness. Sonus said it is cooperating with the SEC.

Sonus completed an internal probe in November and found no wrongdoing by current managers. The software maker is one of more than 200 U.S. companies to announce internal or external probes into the way they granted stock options, a practice that may have illicitly enriched executives.

Technology research company Jupitermedia Corp., distributor Bell Microproducts Inc. and Audible Inc., Internet-based audio-book company, delayed their latest financial reports today amid the investigations.

Shares of Sonus rose 16 cents to $7.50 at 4:30 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. They have climbed 14 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter J. Brennan in Los Angeles at pbrennan3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Cesca Antonelli at fantonelli@bloomberg.net.

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