NYSE warns Penton of delisting danger

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Cleveland--Penton Media Inc., owner of Internet World magazine and trade shows, announced Thursday that it has been notified by the New York Stock Exchange that its common stock is in danger of being delisted because the average closing price was below $1 for a 30-day period.

During early trading on Thursday, Penton’s share price was 38 cents, down from 43 cents at Wednesday’s close.

Under NYSE guidelines, Penton must return its share price and average share price back above $1 by six months following receipt of the notification, or delisting procedures will begin.

The NYSE also notified Penton that its common stock has recently traded as low as 33 cents and that continued trading at such an abnormally low price may require more immediate action regarding the company’s listing on the exchange.

Key3Media Group, which owns the Comdex trade show, was recently delisted by the NYSE, and is now trading on the OTC Bulletin Board. In early trading Thursday, Key3Media's share price was 2.5 cents.

Whether Penton can boost its share price remains an open question. In an interview with BtoB Thursday, Penton Chairman-CEO Thomas L. Kemp acknowledged that although a reverse split was an option for boosting the share price, the company wanted to avoid taking that step.

Penton, with its moves to cut costs and reduce its short-term debt burden, has made all the right moves for strengthening its finances, according to industry observers, who say that best remedy for Penton’s share price is a simple one: a bounce back in advertising revenues in b-to-b media.

--Sean Callahan

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