April 23, 2001 6:30 PM PDT

Nasdaq delists TheGlobe.com stock

In a widely anticipated but symbolic move, the Nasdaq Stock Market on Monday delisted Internet community site TheGlobe.com, which set a first-day record share price gain of 606 percent in 1998.

In February, TheGlobe.com--which became a poster child for the rise and crash of the dot-com niche--requested a hearing to review its questionable Nasdaq status. Despite an appeal by the company to the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel, TheGlobe.com's common shares failed to recover to the required $1 minimum bid price. The stock now trades on the OTC Bulletin Board.

The New York-based company distributes community services and games content to companies, such as RollingStone.com, Time Warner's Road Runner, AOL UK, Excite UK and Netscape UK. Two weeks ago, it slashed 31 percent of its work force in an effort to cut costs.

Its shares trade at 19 cents each, down 32.4 percent since the beginning of the year and down a staggering 99.8 percent from the company's all-time high of $97, which it reached on its first day of trading.

It wasn't always so grim for TheGlobe.com. Its shares priced at $9 each when it debuted on a Friday the 13th in November 1998. They rocketed up to $97 on the first day of trading, soaring 854 percent. They closed that day at $63.50, up 606 percent.

"It's like financial fantasy world," Richard Peterson, an analyst with Securities Data, said at the time. "It's like someone played a Friday the 13th trick. This is an IPO that was ignored, and then it comes back with a bang. It's all that Internet mania stuff."

TheGlobe.com held its prestigious record for the largest first-day gain more than a year, until December 1999. That's when shares in VA Linux Systems soared eightfold and set a record for the largest first-day gain of any IPO.

Trading on thin ice VA Linux priced at $30 but hit the public markets at a whopping $299. By the end of the day, VA Linux had closed at 239.25--a 697.50 percent pop.

But TheGlobe.com is remembered even more so than VA Linux for its starring role in the Internet implosion, which began when public markets took their first dive in April 2000 and have continued to fall almost continually since then.


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