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By | Drew Cullen 18th March 2008 22:04

NASDAQ delists Bell Micro for late filing

Shares sink like a stone

Bell Microproducts lost its NASDAQ listing today because it can't get its act together on financial filings.

Surprise, surprise, shares in the computer distributor sank 31 per cent to $1.94 on the news. Expect another plunge tomorrow when Bell Micro stock starts trading on the Pink Sheets.

The delisting and lack of audited financial statements means that Bell Micro has fallen foul of terms set by its lenders. But in a statement today, the company said it retained the support of all its major lenders. It does "not anticipate any significant impact to its operations or bank lines as a result of the de-listing...there are no defaults presently existing or expected during this time".

Bell Micro got itself into this mess because it did not properly account for backdated share options in past filings through to Q4, 2005. The company is shaking the dust over old reports, but could not get new, accurate figures in time to meet NASDAQ deadlines. So is NASDAQ being unkind? In a word, no. Bell Micro's accountants are possibly the world's slowest - they have been uncooking the books since 2006. And still they can't file.

Bell Micro will seek relisting with NASDAQ - but first, it must finish rewriting financial history. ®

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