RealTime IT News

Homestore Comes Home to NASDAQ

Homestore is back in the market. The Westlake Village, Calif.-based provider of real estate content and technology said today that its common stock will begin trading again on The NASDAQ National Market beginning Friday, January 2, 2004.

HOMS resumed trading on NASDAQ's SmallCap Market in November 2002, following a year of hideous news. In 2001, it came under fire from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice for its accounting practices, and the NASDAQ halted trading of its stock.

In January 2002, it admitted that it had overstated its overstated its earnings for the first three quarters of 2001 by as much as $95 million, accounting for barter advertising deals as regular ad sales transactions. In also let go a number of executives who were involved in a complicated third-party scheme to overstate AOL ad revenues. The company replaced its chairman, chief executive and chief financial officer, and added a COO.

In August 2003, it settled a lawsuitby the California State Teachers' Retirement System, which lost approximately $9 million on Homestore shares. CalSTRS accused Homestore of padding revenues through complicated third-party transactions with AOL. In the settlement, CalSTRS got $13 million in cash plus 20 million new shares of Homestore common stock. Now, that stock may be worth something again.

In June 2003, there was some good news: a deal with AOL , getting placement in the ISP's new Home & Real Estate Channel. The center features information for all phases of home ownership, plus listings from Homestore Apartments & Rentals, as well as Realtor.com and HomeBuilder.com, all owned and operated by Homestore. The deal signaled a return to better times and mended fences with AOL.

A spokesperson for Homestore declined to comment further on the company's news outside of the announcement.