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Emmis stock closes at $1.53, avoids delisting

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Shares of Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. closed Monday at $1.53, the 10th straight day the stock has finished trading above $1—preserving the company's listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

NASDAQ warned Emmis last month that it would be delisted from the exchange if the company's stock didn't rise above the $1 minimum for 10 days in a row; March 15 was the deadline. 

The rebound began on Oct. 13, when shares closed at $1.14, up 24 cents from the day before. Prior to that, the stock hadn't closed above $1 in more than a year. It bottomed out at 24 cents in July.

Emmis and many other broadcasters have been weighed down by heavy debt, falling advertising revenue and the perception that radio is a bygone medium.

But several radio companies posted double-digit percentage gains in their stock prices through the first two quarters of the year. And broadcasters are hoping to get an additional boost from the installation of FM receivers in Apple iPods.

In its fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 31, Emmis suffered a whopping loss of $135.6 million—much of which was was attributed to a $160.9 million impairment charge the company took related to the declining value of its Federal Communications Commission radio licenses. The company earned $1.2 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Emmis' quarterly revenue of $68 million in the second quarter was down 27 percent, from $93.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker, who follows Emmis, wrote in a report this month that September revenue, which will be reported in the company’s fiscal third-quarter results, was better than August's. And October was looking healthier than September, she said, which is having a positive impact on Emmis stock.

“Comments from Emmis management confirm what we have been hearing from other large and small market groups—trends continue to improve month to month,” Ryvicker wrote.

Emmis operates local radio stations WIBC-FM 93.1, WLHK-FM 97.1, WYXB-FM 105.7 and WFNI-AM 1070.

NASDAQ suspended its minimum-stock-price requirement rule last fall after financial markets tanked, but reinstated the rule Aug. 3.

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