Some investors just can’t help themselves. They love companies with low share prices. However, those equities come with an array of risks, including increased probability that when the $5 and $1 marks are breached, these names can join the ranks of delisted stocks.
To clarify, firms vulnerable to becoming delisted stocks currently trade on a major exchange, such as the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange, and when they become delisted stocks, it doesn’t mean a disappearing act. After being banished from the traditional bourses, delisted equities can trade over-the-counter or on the pink sheets.
Companies staring at the specter of losing listing privileges on a major exchange have avenues at their disposal to avoid that ominous outcome. The best way to stay on the Nasdaq or NYSE is to simply deliver credible, good fundamental news that leads to a higher stock price, but many of the firms at risk of delisting are fundamentally flawed.
That leads to the second avenue, the one most frequently traversed. That being the ol’ reverse split — a strategy that frequently works in favor of eager short sellers and rarely in favor of the company seeking to avoid delisting.
That’s something to chew on, particularly with just over 100 U.S.-listed companies that could soon fit the bill as delisted stocks, including these seven:
- Sundial Growers (NASDAQ:SNDL)
- XpresSpa Group (NASDAQ:XSPA)
- Uxin Limited (NASDAQ:UXIN)
- Globalstar (NYSEAmerican:GSAT)
- Luokong Technology (NASDAQ:LKCO)
- Ur-Energy (NYSEAmerican:URG)
- Hexo (NYSE:HEXO)
Delisted Stocks Danger: Sundial Growers (SNDL)
Cannabis producer Sundial Growers closed at 48.5 cents on Dec. 30, meaning that even if the stock doubles before the year ends, it still wouldn’t meet Nasdaq’s above-$1 listing requirement. SNDL stock hasn’t traded above $1 since June.
At a time when many cannabis equities are rallying and Sundial is slumping, it’s hard to get enthusiastic about this name, which is showing itself to be an overt laggard. That’s a clear warning sign as is the 48-cent price tag.
It’s a stretch to say there’s much good news associated with Sundial at this point, but if there’s some, it’s that it’s not imminent danger of becoming a delisted stock. Nasdaq recently gave the company an extension until June 26, 2021 to get its share price above $1. That’s a fair amount of time to reach a relatively low benchmark. At the same time, there are no guarantees Sundial won’t join the ranks of the delisted sometime next year.
XpresSpa Group (XSPA)
XpresSpa Group is off 33.32% year-to-date, a understandable decline for a company where the primary pre-pandemic business model was operating massage and wellness centers inside airport terminals. However, what’s really telling is that XSPA stock is off almost 85% from its June highs despite admirable efforts by the company to turn its airport locations into Covid-19 testing centers.
Prior to the pandemic, XpresSpa was bleeding money, so even if airline industry returns to normal tomorrow, which isn’t going to happen, that doesn’t necessarily mean XSPA stock is primed for significant upside.
To be clear and fair to XpresSpa, Nasdaq hasn’t yet warned the company about a possible delisting event. While the stock did spend some time below $1 earlier this year, it has traded below that level since April. On the back of an 18.18% decline for the month ending Dec. 24, XPSA stock closed at $1.35 on that day, so it could be awhile before it drops below $1 and even longer before Nasdaq services notice on a possible delisting.
Uxin Limited (UXIN)
If you’re not familiar with Uxin Limited, you’re not alone. It’s a Chinese e-commerce company, but one that no one is going to confuse with Alibaba (NYSE:BABA). Uxin is a car-buying platform, but hold those Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) comparisons at the door.
It would be reasonable to think the combination of China’s massive car market and an internet stock would mean big things for Uxin. Alas, that’s not the case as the shares shed two-thirds of their value from the 52-week high and it’s been six months since UXIN stock traded around $2.
It closed at 96 cents on Dec. 24 and while Uxin hasn’t spent considerable time below $1 this year and nor has it been warned of delisting, the combination of a slumping share price and controversy regarding some U.S.-listed Chinese stocks could weigh on Uxin at some point next year.
With a market capitalization of $641 million, communications gear maker Globalstar is one the largest names on this list and it’s got some traits that can lure unwitting investors in. For example, Globalstar has some 5G exposure and the stock is up and it’s higher by almost 21% over the past month.
Still, GSAT stock is, at best, speculative. For all the 5G fervor, it’s been nearly three years since the name traded above $1. Globalstar has a relationship with Fiat Chrysler and its Jeep brand, but even with that, it lost money in third quarter.
The exchange hasn’t recently said GSAT stock is in imminent danger of being delisted, but this is something the company has had issues with in the past when it traded on Nasdaq.
Luokong Technology (LKCO)
Luokong Technology is another Chinese stock that perhaps should be more appealing than its 75-cent share price indicates. Its Luokuang mobile application offers information, entertainment, travel, e-commerce and other internet content services.
There are also big data and cloud computing angles here, so it’s not surprising that a penny stock with those traits can, on occasion, pack a punch as Luokong did last week when it gained almost 45%. As for delisting, Nasdaq already served notice to the company earlier this year.
Luokong was given until October to pop above $1 and was in position to get an extension on that because shareholder equity was north of $5 million. None of that is an invitation to buy a name that is this speculative. Not when there are higher quality Chinese technology stocks to consider.
Of the stocks mentioned here, uranium miner Ur-Energy has one of the longest sub-$1 stretches — it hasn’t been above that level in almost six years – and it also has some of the best near-term prospects. That much is evident by a 61.67% gain over the past month. Adding to the case for this delisting flirtation stock is that that rally is underpinned by some credible fundamentals.
The recently passed Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2021 sets the stage for the Department of Energy (DOE) to shore up domestic production of uranium, including of a national uranium reserve.
“Given the Administration’s stated priority of preserving existing assets of U.S. nuclear infrastructure, we believe government funding of uranium purchases will be directed toward established production companies with permitted physical infrastructure and proven production operations,” according to Ur-Energy.
Uranium has a role in the clean energy conversation, one that is supportive of near-term upside in URG stock. This isn’t the most conservative of ideas and Ur-Energy could be delisted in the future, but its outlook is remarkably rosy relative to some other stocks on this list.
Another cannabis name, Hexo is the highest priced name on this name, residing just over $4 at the Dec. 24 close. That says delisting isn’t imminent by any stretch, but like Sundial, Hexo is a scuffling name in a now-resurgent industry.
The reason HEXO stock isn’t in near-term danger of being delisted is because it previously announced a reverse split, but since then the stock jumped, providing a way for the company to trim what was to be a 1-for-8 to a split ratio of 1-for-4 .
Hexo’s positioning in the cannabis-infused beverage market gives it something to stand on and there’s revenue growth to speak of, but any missteps could embolden short sellers when HEXO stock undergoes a reverse split.
For now, Hexo is out of the delisting woods, but for how long that holds true remains to be seen.
On the date of publication, Todd Shriber did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.
Todd Shriber has been an InvestorPlace contributor since 2014.