Lead-generator Autobytel Inc., whose stock has closed below $1 for nearly a year, has until March 15 to maintain a $1 closing price for at least two weeks or face delisting by NASDAQ.
Autobytel, which refers customers to dealers and automakers through Internet marketing, received a warning letter dated Sept. 15 from the NASDAQ Stock Market detailing its violation of the $1 minimum bid price requirement for 30 consecutive business days.
If Irvine, Calif.-based Autobytel doesn't raise its closing bid price to $1 for 10 consecutive business days by March 15, NASDAQ will target it for delisting, the marketing company said today. Autobytel then could appeal that decision or apply to transfer its stock to the NASDAQ Capital Market, which might give it an additional grace period. The Capital Market is designed for companies that are seeking capital.
“Autobytel is considering actions that it may take in response to this notification in order to regain compliance,” the company said in a statement.
Autobytel's stock has closed below $1 daily since Oct. 1, with its lowest closing at 23 cents on March 19. It has traded around or below $5 for the majority of its publicly offered life, after peaking at $41.87 on March 31, 1999, three trading days after its initial public offering. It last traded above $3 per share in December 2007.
Since it went public, the company has posted an annual net profit only twice, in 2003 and 2004, according to Bloomberg data.
Autobytel's stock today closed at 63 cents, down 10 percent.