RealTime IT News

Another Tech Publisher in Trouble

Penton Media, the Cleveland-based magazine, trade show and online company, has been warned by the New York Stock Exchange that its share price is below the threshold for continued listing.

Penton, which has focused its products largely on the B2B channel, said it has acknowledged receipt of the notification said it plans to remedy the situation, although it added in a statement that "here can be no assurance, however, that the company will be able to do so."

The company has been severely impacted by the economic slowdown in the tech area, and posted a second-quarter loss of a net loss of $12.1 million in the second quarter of 2002, compared with a net loss of $5.5 million for the same period in 2001. Revenues were $66 million, down from $106.8 million a year earlier.

Penton is not alone. Earlier this month, Key3Media was delisted from the NYSE and said it might default on its bank debt. Ziff Davis Media has been going through its share of IT spend slowdown woes, too. The company recently killed its Yahoo! Internet Life magazine after a seven-year run.

Penton Media CEO Thomas Kemp said in late July that Penton's second-quarter performance was strongly affected by declines in its domestic and international trade shows serving the Internet/broadband markets.

Under NYSE guidelines, Penton must return its share price and average share price back above $1by six months following receipt of the NYSE's notification or face suspension and delisting.

The company's stock has traded for as little as 33 cents a share recently, which the NYSE labeled "abnormally low." The NYSE told Penton that continued trading at this price level may require a more immediate determination on continued listing.

Penton's integrated media portfolio serves the following industries: Internet/broadband; information technology; electronics; natural products; food/retail; manufacturing; design/engineering; supply chain; aviation; government/compliance; mechanical systems/construction; and leisure/hospitality.

Penton was established in 1998 as a spinoff of Chicago-based Pittway Corp. and began trading on the NYSE Aug. 10, 1998. In October of that year, Alan Meckler sold his publicly-traded trade show and publishing company, Mecklermedia, to Penton for $274 million in an all-cash deal, and bought back the Manhattan-based internet.com Web site operations, creating what eventually became INT Media Group , parent company of internetnews.com.