Publisher to be delisted from Nasdaq

Monarch failed to follow rules on board's makeup

August 06, 2005|By Andrea K. Walker | Andrea K. Walker,SUN STAFF

Monarch Services Inc., the publisher of Girls' Life magazine, will be delisted from the Nasdaq SmallCap Market next week for failing to abide by rules regarding its board of directors.

The Nasdaq Stock Market Listing Qualifications Department sent a letter to the Baltimore company Monday saying that its securities would be delisted at the opening of business Wednesday.

Monarch's stock dropped 55 cents, or 34 percent, yesterday to close at $1.09.

The company has failed to keep a majority of independent directors on its board of directors as required by Nasdaq standards. It also has not maintained an audit committee of at least three independent members as required by the stock market.

Monarch did not return phone calls yesterday but said in a news release that it does not plan to appeal the decision by Nasdaq. It is unclear what impact the delisting will have on the business.

The company reported in April a net operating loss for the last fiscal year of $900,000 on $5.6 million in revenue.

The company has tried several business ventures over the years but focuses now on publishing Girls' Life, a magazine it started in 1994 as a "non-condescending" read for girls aged 10 to 15.

Monarch launched a similar magazine for boys called Adam in January 2002 but ceased publication three months later because of a lack of response. The company also runs Peerce's Plantation restaurant in Phoenix.

The company is 40-percent owned by A. Eric Dott, chairman, and his son, Jackson. Monarch has been criticized by some investors over the years for expanding into areas outside its core expertise. The company sold its video and board game division in 1998 to Hasbro for $6 million in cash.

The company once ran a printing and envelope division and closed its Adam's Leaf & Bean tobacco shop in 2004.

Board member David F. Gonano, reached yesterday, referred questions to the Dotts.

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