Home News Local news ANOTHER SETBACK FOR LITTLE SWITZERLAND

ANOTHER SETBACK FOR LITTLE SWITZERLAND

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Nasdaq has delisted the financially troubled Little Switzerland company. It will no longer appear on the main board, although it is eligible to trade on Nasdaq’s over-the-counter Bulletin Board.
Chief Financial Officer Patrick Hopper said Thursday that the action makes it harder for shareholders to buy and sell shares but that it means "pretty much nothing" to general operations of Little Switzerland in the Virgin Islands.
According to its web page, Little Switzerland operates 20 stores on six Caribbean islands and in Alaska, specializing in china, jewelry and fragrances. Hopper listed the island sites as St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao, St. Martin/San Maarten and St. Lucia.
Nasdaq first announced its intention to drop Little Switzerland from its main board in September but, Hopper said, the company appealed the ruling and was "put on watch" until the beginning of December.
The idea was that it would secure financing to pay down its debt.
According to published reports, one of the problems was the company’s failure to maintain Nasdaq’s minimum $1 per share price.
The current listing is just 65 cents per share. The price hit a 52-week low of 18 cents in October, according to Yahoo! Suretrade.com. The highest listing in the past year was $2.56. Sales decreased 19 percent in the quarter ending Aug. 28, 1999, to $13.8 million.
Suretrade attributed the downturn to the loss of the distributorship for Rolex products and to "short-term measures taken to improve the company’s liquidity and an increase in legal and consulting fees."
Hopper said Little Switzerland’s attempts to secure financing and hang on to the Nasdaq listing suffered a setback from Hurricane Lenny in November. Virtually all the Caribbean stores lost some business; hardest hit were the outlets in St. Martin, two on the French side and one on the Dutch. All are open now.
In a release, Little Switzerland said it is negotiating for more time to secure financing and hopes to have capital in place by the end of January.

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