NYSE Halts Floor Trading Of Journal Register As Stock Falls Below $1

By: Mark Fitzgerald

The New York Stock Exchange has halted floor trading of Journal Register Co. because its stock price has fallen below $1.05 a share.

NYSE spokesman Scott Peterson said Tuesday that floor trading of Journal Register was stopped Feb. 28 under Big Board rules that kick in when a stock opens below $1.05. The stock continues to trade on electronic markets.

In mid-day trading Tuesday, Journal Register (NYSE: JRC) was at 94 cents a share, up 3 cents, or 3.3%, from the open.

Judy Brenna, director of investor relations for Yardley, Pa.-based Journal Register, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Journal Register has been hammered by the general Wall Street distaste for newspaper stocks, and in particular by the performance of its cluster of papers in recession-hit Michigan. It is also burdened with considerable debt, which has forced it to suspend its dividend, and explore the sale of assets.

Journal Register is the second publicly traded newspaper company that had its NYSE floor trading halted in recent days. On Feb. 22, the exchange halted floor trading in Sun-Times Media Group (STMG) for low-price, or sub-penny, trading.

Tuesday, STMG stock (NYSE: SVN) traded at mid-day at 77 cents, down 3 cents, or 3.75%, from its open.

NYSE’s Peterson said in order for a stock to trade on the floor after being halted for low-price trading, it must trade above $1.10 a share for an entire trading day. Some companies also sometimes use a reverse stock split to get share price above the minimum trading level.

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