NYSE to drop Westmoreland stock

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Westmoreland Coal Company officially lost its standing on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week. Coal Company officials said they will consider other markets on which to trade.

“We had hoped the exchange would have delayed their decision until the reorganization plan was filed,” said Diane Jones, a spokeswoman for Westmoreland. “We were disappointed but we were anxiously waiting for the decision.”

There is an established appeal process, Jones said. Westmoreland is evaluating whether that is an appropriate course of action to take.

The action was taken because the exchange said the company fell below the standards for continued listing. Westmoreland confirmed that it had fallen below the standards at the time of its last official quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Sept. 30, 1996.

The standards include total market value of publicly held shares, which cannot be less than $8 million; net tangible assets available to common stock, which cannot be less than $12 million, together with three-year average net income after taxes, which cannot be less than $600,000; and total market value, which cannot be less than $12 million, along with average net income after taxes, which cannot be less than $600,000.

In the meantime, trading of the company’s common stock and its preferred stock, listed under the symbols WCX and WCXprA respectively, can now resume; the stock isn’t listed on any exchange, according to Jones. The NYSE had halted trading on Westmoreland’s stock Dec. 23 when the company declared bankruptcy. The action suspends the stock from the exchange and allows the NYSE to apply to the SEC to delist the issues.

The stock cannot be formally listed on an exchange until the company’s reorganization plan has been confirmed by the bankruptcy court.