Willbros Group Inc. (NYSE: WG) received notification on Aug. 11 from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that the price of Willbros common stock has fallen below the NYSE's continued listing standard, which requires the average closing price of a listed company's common stock to be at least $1 per share over a consecutive 30-day trading period.
In August 2014, Willbros’ shares traded above $11 a share; however, in the current market conditions following the oil price collapse, the company’s stock has closed under $1 a share since mid-July. On March 18, Willbros stock hit a 52-week low during that day’s trading session, falling all the way to $1.50, roughly 73% down from the previous close of $5.48. The stock managed to bounce off this low to close at $2.69, up about 80% from the low but down 51% on the day.
Willbros intends to respond to the NYSE within 10 business days with a plan to cure the deficiency. The company has six months, or in certain circumstances, until it can take shareholder action at its next annual meeting, to regain compliance with the NYSE continued listing requirements. During the cure period, Willbros common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the NYSE, subject to compliance with the other listing standards. The NYSE notification does not conflict with or violate any of the company's credit or debt obligations.
John T. McNabb, II, Willbros chairman and CEO, commented, "The current share price does not reflect the intrinsic value of Willbros. Our share price has been under pressure due to macro events which have affected the global energy industry as well as events specific to Willbros' financial performance. Over the last 11 months, at the direction of the board of directors, management has taken aggressive actions to reduce G&A costs, exit nonperforming businesses, sell noncore assets in order to reduce debt, bolster operating staff and management, and streamline operations.
“Our previously disclosed plan to sell our Professional Services segment remains on track, and we believe we should have an agreement in place to sell the segment by the end of the third quarter, with the potential to significantly reduce our debt levels in the fourth quarter of 2015. We believe all these actions will restore confidence in the company and translate into a higher valuation for our shareholders."
If the Willbros share price has not recovered at the end of the cure period, or, under certain circumstances, after the company's next annual meeting if shareholder action is required, the company's common stock will be subject to NYSE's suspension and delisting procedures.
Willbros is a specialty energy infrastructure contractor serving the oil, gas, refining, petrochemical and power industries. Its offerings include engineering, procurement and construction, maintenance, facilities development, and operations services.
To cut costs, Willbros has also recently eliminated hundreds of jobs, and, in June, the company completed the sale of its Downstream Engineering services, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and its Heater Engineering Services, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to a group led by Bernhard Capital Partners. Willbros is continuing to pursue the sale of the balance of the Professional Services segment, which includes the company’s midstream and mainline engineering operations, its Integrity solutions and technology business, its Land and Survey group, and its Government Services business.