Astra outlines plan to avoid Nasdaq stock delisting

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A view from onboard the upper stage of rocket LV0009 during the company’s livestream on March 15, 2022.

Astra / NASASpaceflight

Spacecraft engine manufacturer and small rocket builder Astra on Thursday outlined a plan to avoid having its stock delisted from the Nasdaq.

With an exchange-imposed deadline of April 4 drawing near – and Astra’s stock still below the $1 a share level it needs to exceed to remain on the exchange – the company filed a plan earlier this month, seeking an 180-day extension, it said Thursday.

If successful, the appeal would give Astra until Oct. 1 to get its shares above $1 for at least 10 consecutive business days.

“Based on our discussions with representatives of Nasdaq, we expect to hear back from Nasdaq regarding the status of our application on or around April 5, 2023, and we are not aware of any reason why our application would not be approved,” Astra CFO Axel Martinez wrote in a blog post.

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In its plan, Astra also noted the possibility of conducting a reverse stock split to get back into compliance with Nasdaq’s listing standards. A reverse split does not affect the fundamentals of a company, as it is not dilutive to the stock and does not change the company’s valuation, but it would lift the stock price by combining shares.

A reverse split can be seen as a sign a company is in distress and is trying to “artificially” boost its stock price, or it can be viewed as a way for a viable company with a beaten up stock to continue operations on a public exchange. Functionally, a reverse split, often done as a 1-for-10, would mean a $3 stock, for example, would become $30 a share.

“Astra continues to actively monitor our listing status and intends to preserve our Nasdaq listing,” Martinez wrote.

The company is expected to report fourth-quarter results after market close on Mar. 30.

— CNBC’s Scott Schnipper contributed to this report.

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