Dot-Coms Just Dying to Get Prized OTC Listings

Briefs in a Brief

New York, N.Y. ( – In an emerging trend analysts are comparing to the IPO mania of 1998-1999, publicly-traded Internet companies are leaving the Nasdaq in a mad rush to have their struggling shares listed instead on the obscure Over-the-Counter stock market, a difficult but not impossible task achieved by strategically failing to meet minimum Nasdaq requirements.

Executives at dot-coms such as and DrKoop denied they were purposely underachieving, but so far, analysts aren’t buying their arguments. “Look at how these companies spend and lose money, the way they just happen to let their stock prices fall below the $1 minimum necessary to stay on the Nasdaq,” said PaineWebber analyst Kevin Krieger. “They can deny it, but it’s obvious to everyone they’re just dying to get on the OTC.”

In fact, Krieger estimates that by 2002, more than 80 percent of dot-coms will attempt the heady jump from the Nasdaq to the OTC. Asked why, Krieger pointed out that unlike a Nasdaq-listed firm, an OTC company avoids interruptions and attention from analysts, the press, investors, and other companies, he said. In addition, it can see its stock trade “many hundreds” of shares in a single day

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