ComScore Stock Plunges

Measurement company stock falls more than 20%; will miss NASDAQ listing deadline
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ComScore, the troubled measurement company that has spent the past year trying to untangle an accounting mess linked to its former CEO, watched its stock plunge more than 20% Monday after it said it would miss a required NASDAQ filing deadline and could have its stock delisted from the exchange.

ComScore stock, whic had traded as low as $23.05 each on Monday (down 29%), finished the day at $23.22, down 28.4% ($9.22 each).

In a statement, ComScore said it has notified the Nasdaq Hearings Panel (the "Panel") that it will be unable to regain compliance with its Securities and Exchange Act periodic reporting requirements by the February 23, 2017 deadline set by the Panel.

In October, the Panel said it would provide ComScore with a conditional listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market through Feb. 23, the give the company extra time to complete its financial restatement and regain full compliance.

While ComScore said it has made “significant progress” in the restatement process, it won’t make the deadline. The delay relates to “the magnitude of work” associated with reviewing accounting judgements and estimate for transactions over a period of three years. ComScore now says it will be able to complete the restatement and become current in the filing of all the required reports this summer, but said there can be no guarantees that the process will be completed at that time.

ComScore first revealed accounting irregularities last year when it notified the SEC that its board had received a message regarding “certain potential accounting matters,” and began an investigation. Later the company said it had found some potential problems in the way it reported non-monetary revenue – essentially barter transactions – that could have helped artificially boost the compensation for then CEO Serge Matta and other executives. Matta resigned later that year and was replaced with board member and co-founder Gian Fulgoni.

"Although we are disappointed that we will not meet NASDAQ's deadline, we have made significant progress towards the restatement and in strengthening our internal audit and compliance functions,” Fulgoni said in a statement. “Furthermore, our business fundamentals continue to be strong, underscored by our healthy balance sheet with $116 million in cash. We are confident in our strategy, our roadmap for innovation, our unique data and technology assets, and in the value we deliver to more than 3,000 clients, all of which we believe will drive long-term growth for our company."

ComScore said that in the event its stock is delisted from the NASDAQ, it will file an appeal requesting that any action be delayed and consider providing the company more time to complete the process while remaining listed. If that isn’t possible, ComScore said its shares would be listed over the counter until it could regain compliance and its NASDAQ listing.

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