Cinedigm Shares Whipsawed After It Reports Progress Fixing Weak Earnings

The price of Cinedigm’s thinly traded stock dropped 15.7% to 97 cents a share moments before the market closed today — but rebounded by 44.4% to $1.30 in postmarket trading — after the digital content company finally released financial results for the quarter that ended in March.

As expected, the firm reported weak results for the quarter: It had a net loss of $6.14 million, a 48.4% improvement vs the period in early 2015, on revenues of $23.21 million, down 16%.

Cinedigm said it’s working on several initiatives to raise cash, including one for as much as $11 million. Ronald Chez — the largest shareholder, who had been an adviser — will invest in the facility, as will CEO Chris McGurk. In connection with that, Chez joined the board as two still-unidentified directors stepped down reducing it to five members.

Cinedigm disclosed in an SEC filing that it gave to Chez 155,000 shares — valued at $134,782 — above what was anticipated in an agreement last year to compensate him for his work as a strategic Adviser. He no longer has that role and will stay on the board until his stake in the company drops below 5%. He has stock and warrants equal to 8.2% of the company.

Meanwhile, Cinedigm terminated the rights granted last year to a group including Chez, Sabra Investments, and Zvi Rhine to designate directors.

The changes are “a real positive signal” that Cinedigm’s finances are stabilizing, McGurk says. It expects to see more than $10 million in cost savings this year. In addition it paid down $62.3 million from its long term debt.

McGurk says that the financing efforts and other initiatives have “primed Cinedigm to attract significant new business” for its digital entertainment and streaming channels that include Docurama, CONtv, and Dove.

In a conference call, McGurk responded to an investor who objected to Cinedigm’s new online investments at a time when it still has substantial debt.

“The rubber is going to meet the road in terms of the deals we do between now and the end of the year,” the CEO says. He pegged the new investments at $5 million a year, and says that he’s talking to “strategic partners who might offset that capital outlay significantly.”

Cinedigm has been struggling to overcome Wall Street’s skepticism about its plans.

The company was at risk of being delisted by Nasdaq when its stock price fell below $1 a share. To fix that, Cinedigm in May made a reverse stock split, giving investors one share for every 10 that they owned. The price moved from about 20 cents a share to more than $1.60.

The exchange told the company on May 25 that it was back in compliance.

But last month the company disclosed that it needed a 15 day extension to file its financial report for the fiscal year that ended in March. Small companies have to file within 90 days, but Cinedigm said it is grappling with “unanticipated delays in compiling certain necessary information to complete its audit.”

It also said that Nasdaq sent a letter on June 23 saying that Cinedigm is in danger of deing delisted due to its low market value. With a market value of less than $8 million, it “no longer meets the requirement” the stock exchange has to only list companies worth more than $15 million.

Cinedigm has until December 20 to comply, although it might be able to secure an additional 180-day extension. Cinedigm said it will “consider the various available options if its common stock does not trade at a level that is likely to regain compliance.”

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