Following on from a dire second quarter report published earlier this month, the WPT have run into another financial hurdle – the threat of being delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange. Falling revenues were put down to lower licensing fees after their switch from the Travel Channel to the Game Show Network, as well as administrative costs incurred in the set up of WPT China and ClubWPT.com.
Reaction to the report has been less than positive, pushing World Poker Tour Enterprises’ stock to it’s lowest ever value. A trend that will need to be reversed following the doom ridden Nasdaq Staff Determination Letter they received on Tuesday. The letter informed owners that, due to WPTE’s share price having been below $1 for 30 days, they will face expulsion from the market unless they can push their stock to above $1 for 10 consecutive days, over the course of the next 180 days. Failing to do this will see them delisted.
When the company first entered the stock exchange in July 2004 the WPT opened with stocks priced at $9.15 a share, but their value has not been above $1 since July 1st. If they are delisted then they will be forced to trade in Over The Counter (OTC) stocks. Meaning that they will trade stocks directly with the customers, rather than having deals mediated by a third party market. The volatile nature of OTC stocks means that most big-time investors will shy away from them.
The WPT’s owners are banking on the investments that cost them so much in the first and second quarter coming good in this second half of the year. Their recently announced deal with Fox Sports and the fruition of ClubWPT.com and WPT China are all potential boosts. Cost-cutting measures, including redundancies, have been implemented in the past few weeks, yet even this may not be enough to save WPTE’s ailing share prices.
One drastic option available to the company is a reverse split of their stocks. This would involve halving the number of available stocks, in turn doubling the price of the remaining ones. Given that the current share price stands at $0.81, this move would be enough to tip them over the $1 mark. Whether or not any of these approaches will be enough to keep the WPT on the NASDAQ will not be known until their 180 day grace elapses.