Monday, May 17, 1999

Isle water firm
posts loss, faces
stock delisting

The company is told by Nasdaq
that its net worth is below requirements

By Rob Perez


Hawaiian Natural Water said it narrowed its first-quarter loss by nearly 25 percent, but it also disclosed that the company's stock may be delisted from the Nasdaq SmallCap market.

Info Box Nasdaq has told Hawaiian Natural officials the stock would be delisted because the company's net worth has fallen below Nasdaq's minimum requirement of $2 million. The company said it is appealing the ruling, which automatically puts the delisting on hold until the appeal is resolved.

The Honolulu-based bottler of natural water from the Big Island said it lost $416,548, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $544,059, or 14 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

The company said sales increased 22 percent to $485,805. It also noted that gross profit margins jumped nearly six-fold as the company was able to cut the average cost per bottle by 12 percent.

Hawaiian Natural said an independent panel is expected to hear the delisting appeal in July.

The company said it dropped below Nasdaq's minimum net worth threshold because of continuing operating losses. But it said business prospects are encouraging, citing the continued improvement in operating results.

The bottler said it expects growth in international sales this year, especially in Thailand and Japan.

Hawaiian Natural also said it is seeking additional capital, which if obtained would enable the company to meet the Nasdaq minimum requirements while funding future developments.

In trading today, the company's stock closed down 6 cents at 87.5 cents.

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