NewLead lands on firing line

Wall Street is rife with rumours that diversified Greek operator NewLead Holdings may be on the fringe of losing its Times Square listing.

Renewed uncertainty about the future of the owner’s Nasdaq-quoted shares follows a trading halt that officials implemented prior to the opening bell Thursday morning.

In a cryptic statement the exchange said the suspension would be lifted when a request for “additional information” was satisfied but offered no details about what it is looking for.

While the announcement suggests the trading halt is only temporary dozens of investors who weighed in on the development by way of postings to a Yahoo Finance message board argued that the move may mark the beginning of the end for NewLead.

Some accused management of orchestrating a ‘pump-and-dump’ scheme but others believe the suspension relates to confusion surrounding inconsistencies in recent regulatory filings or something else that is far less nefarious.

Industry observers note that NewLead made headlines earlier in the week when it announced plans to pursue yet another reverse split under a broader bid to regain compliance with listing requirements that have been a source of contention for some time.

At the time the operator pointed out that it planned to address concerns that triggered a recent deficiency notice at a Nasdaq qualifications panel on 24 July and said a ruling on its request to continue to trade would likely be made within 30 days of the hearing.

Late last month the Manhattan-based exchange accused NewLead of misleading investors and threatened to pull its listing “based on public interest concerns raised by certain false and misleading public disclosures made by the company” but failed to elaborate further.

Attempts to reach NewLead, which is headquartered in Athens and led by CEO Michael Zolotas, and a Nasdaq spokesman who was identified as its media contact in today’s announcement were not immediately successful at the time of writing Thursday afternoon.