Embattled Unix vendor The SCO Group remained listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange today. For how much longer that will be the case, however, is unclear.
After the markets closed today, SCO said it had received a hearing date of Nov. 8th. That’s good news for the company, since a delisting is traditionally delayed until a hearing is complete.
The threat of being delisted had hung over the heads of SCO shareholders since last week, when the company advised its investors that its stock had been slated by NASDAQ for delisting yesterday, on the basis of its bankruptcy filing earlier this month. At the time, SCO also said it would request a hearing to appeal.
NASDAQ rules stipulate that a company filing for bankruptcy protection may be delisted. Fortunately for SCO, the appeal will serve to postpone the delisting action, at least until the appeal date.
To insult to injury, however, SCO today received a second delisting letter from NASDAQ, citing non-compliance with another set of marketplace rules. Those regulations require a listed company’s shares to close at $1.00 or higher, or face delisting. SCO’s common stock has closed under the dollar mark for the past 30 business days.
The NASDAQ has given SCO until March 24, 2008, to raise its share price to at least $1.00 per share, for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days. Failing that, or SCO’s ability to successfully appeal its first notification, the stock will likely be delisted.
Today’s low share price warning marks the second time this year that SCO has been hit by that problem. In late April, SCO received its first such warning, which the company was able to comply with in June.
Of course, SCO’s recent stock tailspin is being fueled by the simple fact that the company declared bankruptcy. The bankruptcy itself comes at the end of a long series of events stretching back three years, to when The SCO Group first began making claims about its alleged Unix copyrights, and intellectual property infringement on those rights by Linux.
SCO had claimed that it owned certain Unix copyrights that it acquired from Novell. Novell disagreed, and the two technology vendors headed to court. A summary judgment in the case concluded that Novell is the owner of the Unix and UnixWare copyrights, rather than SCO — a development that prompted SCO to declare bankruptcy.
In a regulatory filing with the SEC, SCO said the ruling means it could well be on the hook to Novell for more than $30 million. The bankruptcy protection filing is an effort to help SCO attempt to restructure and delay financial damage.
Even without the trial, SCO’s financial situation appears bleak. In its most recent SEC filing for the period ending July 31, the company revealed that it was still losing money and has little in the bank. As of July 31, SCO reported that its total assets amounted to only $15.8 million.
SCO’s shares traded today between 16 and 18 cents, closing the day at 17 cents — just above the stock’s 52 -week-low of 15 cents, and a far cry from its 52-week-high of $3.12.