Reverse stock split mulled by Presstek

Presstek Inc. is asking its shareholders for the right to issue up to a 1-to-15 reverse stock split in order to boost its share price and prevent being tossed off the Nasdaq stock exchange, according to a preliminary proxy filed April 12 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.The reverse split actually merges shares of stock, reducing the number of shares issued, which would theoretically increase the share price proportionately.The provider of printing equipment – now based in Connecticut but with a major facility in Hudson has lost $23 million in the last two years, thanks to a lackluster economy and the move away from print media.That has translated into a 62-cent loss per share — roughly what the company’s stock has been trading for of late. The Nasdaq, however, requires that companies listed on its exchange trade for more than $1 a share, and it notified the company that it was no longer in compliance with that rule. The company has until April 23 to get its stock price up, though it could get an extra 180 days if it comes up with a compliance plan. The stock split appears to be that plan.Shareholders will be asked to approve the proposal, by proxy or in person, at a June 12 shareholders’ meeting in New York City. But even with the approval, the board is not obligated to initiate a split. The company currently has 37.4 million shares issued and outstanding. A reverse split could reduce the number of shares by as many as 2.5 million. If the company does go through with the split, no fractional shares will be issued. Shareholders will get cash instead for those shares instead. – BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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