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YOUNGSTOWN AMEX stops trade of Cold Metal Products stock



Published: Sat, August 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The company said it is continuing to operate its facilities and to service customers.

By CYNTHIA VINARSKY

VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- The American Stock Exchange has halted trading of Cold Metal Products stock, the company said, because the steel processor put off filing its annual financial reports with federal securities regulators.

Cold Metal announced the AMEX action in a news release Friday, stressing that the company is continuing to operate all its facilities and to service its customers.

Its stock, which trades on AMEX under the symbol CLQ, closed at 40 cents per share. Over the past year, its price has ranged from a low of 24 cents per share to a high of $1.05.

Formerly based in Boardman, the intermediate steel processor is now based in Sewickley, Pa. It operates seven plants in the United States and Canada and has 600 employees, including about 130 at its Youngstown plant.

Financial report

The company said its fiscal 2002 10-K form, a financial report all publicly held companies must file yearly with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, was originally due July 17.

Cold Metal advised the SEC on July 23 that it had postponed filing the 10-K, pending outcome of talks with its secured lenders and other funding sources from which it was seeking working capital.

The company said at that time that it had reached an agreement in principle with its lenders, but the deal would not be final until the financial sources could complete due diligence and documentation. It said the filing was delayed because "the outcome of these discussions could significantly affect the opinion of management regarding our ability to continue our business in its present form."

E. Duane Wykoff, vice president of human resources and communications for Cold Metal, said Friday that he has no idea how soon the financing agreement might be complete, but when it is, the company intends to file its 10-K as soon as possible.

The company said AMEX will make a decision on the trading status of its shares after the 10-K is filed.

Struggling financially

Wykoff said Cold Metal has been struggling financially, largely because of the sluggish economy, which has had a negative effect on most businesses in the steel industry.

Besides that, he said, Cold Metal has been negatively affected by the Bush administration's foreign steel tariffs because it has increased the cost of the steel the company buys. Cold Metal does not make steel but processes steel for the automotive, construction and cutting tool industries.

John Grove, the company's vice president of purchasing, was among the small business leaders addressing Congress recently to explain the down side of the tariffs for some domestic producers, Wykoff said.

The company said it lost $19.8 million, or $308 per share, in fiscal 2002 ending March 31, on sales of $161.3 million. That compares to a fiscal 2001 loss of $6.8 million, or $1.05 per share.

vinarsky@vindy.com




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