Mercury seeks filing extension to stave off delisting |

Mercury seeks filing extension to stave off delisting

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Mercury Interactive Corp. has requested an extension from Nasdaq Stock Market to file its financial results, seeking to stave off potential delisting after a stock-option scandal.The Mountain View, Calif., company said late Thursday that it would fail to meet the exchange’s Nov. 30 deadline and submitted a new plan to comply with the filing requirements.Analysts expect the company stands a good chance of getting more time, but it might be its last window of opportunity.”We believe the Nasdaq could provide an additional two-to-four week filing extension,” said Katherine Egbert, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., in a note. “Further extensions appear unlikely.”Jefferies didn’t disclose any notable conflicts of interest in the report.Egbert said recent precedents of Sonus Networks Inc. and Carrier Access Corp. indicate that Nasdaq is amenable to granting second extensions.Nasdaq declined to comment.Mercury was granted an extension to file second- and third-quarter earnings reports as well as restate financial statements for past periods on Oct. 7.The restatements and delayed filings are related to an ongoing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into past stock-option grants. Earlier this month, Mercury said an internal investigation discovered 49 instances in which dates on stock option grants were reset.The chief executive, chief financial officer and general counsel all benefitted from these practices and resigned.Mercury’s board of directors subsequently appointed Chief Operating Officer Anthony Zingale as chief executive, senior vice president David Murphy as chief financial officer, and board member Giora Yaron as chairman.At the time, the company said its ability to meet the Nov. 30 filing deadline was in “serious jeopardy.”Mercury formed a special committee in June following an inquiry from the SEC. In August, the company said it planned to restate earnings for fiscal 2002 through the first quarter of 2005 as a result of the investigation.Shares of Mercury fell 24 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $27.77 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.Vail, Colorado

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