TORONTO - Shares in Nortel Networks Corp. (TSX:NT) have regained a little ground in early trading after tanking yesterday when the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Nortel stock jumped 4.5 cents or 37.5 per cent to 16.5 cents with more than 10 million changing hands, still close to a historic bottom for the shares that once traded for as much as $124.50.

The telecommunications equipment manufacturer filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada, the U.S. and Europe yesterday.

Once a darling of the Canadian tech sector, Nortel now hopes to stay alive as a smaller company by selling non-core businesses and restructuring.

Nortel has been trying to restructure for more than three years and is the first major North American technology company to be forced into bankruptcy protection by the global downturn and credit market crunch.