Amex halts trading in Oncor, may delist stock Gaithersburg company had 2nd-quarter loss, is selling off assets

Biotechnology

October 03, 1998|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

The American Stock Exchange halted trading in shares of Oncor Inc. indefinitely yesterday. The Gaithersburg company said it opposed the move and is "considering remedies and alternatives" to the trading halt.

Company executives also said Oncor plans to appeal the Amex's decision to seek approval from the Securities and

Exchange Commission to delist Oncor as a result of the company not meeting certain listing requirements.

Shares in the financially troubled company are down dramatically since last year, when they hit a 52-week high of $5.25 Oct. 2. Shares were trading at 12.5 cents yesterday when the trading halt was issued.

Amex's trading halt was triggered after the company announced Thursday that it did not have enough cash to meet a demand for payment on a $4 million note. A group of Oncor's shareholders stepped in to pay the note.

According to its most recent quarterly report, the company had cash on hand of $518,000 as of June 30.

For its second quarter, which ended June 30, Oncor reported a net loss of $2.41 million on revenue of $3.4 million.

In late March, the company ousted founder and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Turner after reporting it may not have enough cash to continue operations more than a few months, and began moving to sell some revenue-producing divisions to raise cash.

The company has been selling assets as it attempts to market a test for the recurrence of breast cancer.

In June, Oncor struck an agreement to sell its research products division, one of its strongest revenue-producing units, for $3.2 million to Intergen Co.

The company, which has laid off more than 50 employees or about half its work force since March, had hoped to raise more cash by selling its subsidiary Codon Pharmaceuticals Inc., but a buyer for that asset canceled the deal this week.

Pub Date: 10/03/98

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