Charter's Market Gyrations

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Charter Communications stock crossed its 50th consecutive day of trading under $1 per share on Nov. 21.

In past years, that would have meant the lengthy delisting process from the NASDAQ Stock Exchange would have already had a 20-day start.

But stock markets' downward momentum and wild volatility have helped give Paul Allen's cable company a break in that respect.

In mid-October NASDAQ, pointing to a highly unusual surge in the number of stocks trading under $1 per share, suspended its $1 price threshold until at least Jan. 16. In its Oct. 16 application to the Securities and Exchange Commission, NASDAQ said that at the end of September, 227 stocks were trading below $1 per share, up hugely from just 64 at the same time last year.

By Oct. 9, the number of penny stocks had risen to 344.

NASDAQ proposed suspending the requirement through Jan. 16, 2009. It would restart any new action regarding share price deficiency using data starting on Jan. 19.

NASDAQ had suspended the $1 minimum price requirement only once before — after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Charter closed at 19 cents on Nov. 25.

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