Emmis Communications Corp. spent much of last year in danger of being delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange. Now, it's back in the same precarious position.
On Nov. 1, NASDAQ notified the Indianapolis-based media company that it no longer complies with an exchange rule that requires members to carry a minimum stock price of $1 per share. Emmis shares had closed below $1 per share for 30 consecutive business days, the notification said.
In order to regain compliance, Emmis stock must trade above the $1 per share minimum bid price for 10 consecutive business days before May 2, or they face delisting.
Emmis stock closed at 80 cents per share on Friday, up one cent from the previous day. Shares last traded above $1 on Sept. 20, when they closed at $1.08. They fell to 90 cents the following day and haven't reached that level since.
Emmis escaped the same position last October when improved performance helped its stock climb above the minimum $1 mark after spending more than a year below the threshold. Emmis also avoided the delisting because NASDAQ suspended it minimum-bid rule for almost a year due to the recession.
The company seemed to be in a secure position on the exchange earlier this year when its shares reached as high as $2.38 each in April, but the stock plummeted in the wake of a failed attempt by Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan to take the company private this summer.
Should Emmis fail to meet NASDAQ’s 10-day demand, its stock would be relegated to penny-stock status on the over-the-counter bulletin board or the pink sheets. Once that happens, shares are harder to buy and sell.