Spiegel delisted from Nasdaq

The Nasdaq National Market delisted the Class A common stock of Spiegel Group on June 3. The delisting resulted largely because Spiegel, the parent company of Eddie Bauer, Newport News, and the Spiegel catalog, has yet to file its annual and quarterly financial statements. Publicly traded companies must report financial statements 45 days after the quarter closes and 60 days after its annual year closes. Spiegel’s fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 29.

Spiegel said it intends to file its annual report for fiscal 2001 and its quarterly report for the first quarter of 2002 upon reaching an agreement with its bank group to restructure its existing credit facilities. At the same time, Spiegel is trying to find a buyer for its FCNB credit-card operation. The uncertainty of the FCNB status is making it more difficult for Spiegel to come to an agreement with its lenders. But the cataloger believes that by having the new facilities in place prior to filing the annual report, it will receive an “unqualified” audit opinion from its auditor, KPMG.

An unqualified audit opinion is more desirable, says Eric Beder, senior vice president with New York-based investment firm Ladenburg, Thalman & Co., it indicates that the auditor has “no going concerns” about the company. Beder adds that he does not see the delisting as a major setback for Spiegel. “It should be taken care of within a month,” he says. “Spiegel just ran out of time with Nasdaq.”

A Spiegel spokesperson could not confirm when the company would file its financial statements. Spiegel is currently trading as an over-the-counter stock.

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