Capital Markets

Bausch & Lomb Avoids Delisting

Other companies were not as lucky.
Stephen TaubDecember 22, 2006

Serial late filer Bausch & Lomb announced that it has received an additional extension for continued listing and trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The eye-care products company said it now has until March 1, 2007, to file its 2005 annual report.

If the company does not make its filing by the new March 1 deadline, the NYSE could either grant a final additional extension to April 2, 2007, or move forward with the initiation of suspension and delisting procedures, Bausch added. The company said it continues to work diligently to complete the ongoing work and that it will file the 2005 annual report as soon as practical.

In recent years, the Big Board has vowed to crack down on companies that have not filed their periodic reports in a timely manner. The reality, however, is that it is extremely rare for the exchange to delist a company. Indeed, earlier this week the NYSE announced that it would delay the delisting of Navistar International, originally scheduled for December 20. The exchange said that Navistar had formally requested a review of the suspension decision that was previously announced on December 15. This review will be heard by a committee of the board of directors of NYSE Regulation on January 30.

Following the review, the committee will make a decision to either move forward with suspension and delisting procedures, or continue trading in the company’s securities, according to the NYSE’s announcement.

However, in another case, also reported on earlier this week, the NYSE suspended trading in shares of American Italian Pasta Co (AIP). On June 23, the company had received a trading extension from the exchange of up to six months, through December 31, to complete and file its annual report for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2005. The extension was subject to review by the NYSE on an ongoing basis. The company recently notified the NYSE that it will not meet the extended date of December 31, 2006.

AIP also recently said that it has “substantially completed” its review of historical accounting matters and is finalizing its conclusions and preparing its fiscal year 2005 financial statements and restatements of its financials for fiscal 2004 and prior periods.

The NYSE also recently suspended the common stock of SunCom Wireless Holdings, because it no longer meets the exchange’s minimum market capitalization requirements. The Associated Press pointed out that in September, SunCom received a delisting warning from the exchange, because its market capitalization fell below the $100 million mark over a consecutive 30-day trading period.