Northwest Pipe misses filing deadline

Vancouver manufacturer at greater risk of removal from Nasdaq exchange

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

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Northwest Pipe Co. has received a notice from the Nasdaq stock exchange that it’s no longer in compliance with the exchange’s listing rules because the company failed to file its third-quarter financial report in a timely fashion.

The Vancouver-based business, which manufactures steel pipe, delayed registering its report for the three months ended Sept. 30. The delay is due to a review by Northwest Pipe of assumptions it relied on in previous years to determine the “depreciation expense for equipment,” the company said Tuesday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Northwest Pipe has until Jan. 17 to submit a plan to Nasdaq to regain compliance. If Nasdaq Stock Market officials accept the plan, they can grant up to 180 calendar days, or until May 14, for the company to meet the standards required by the exchange. Failing that, the company could be removed from the Nasdaq.

A company can be delisted and continue to be profitable. However, a delisting can make it more difficult and more expensive for a company to raise money.

Northwest Pipe said it plans to meet the Jan. 17 deadline by either filing its third-quarter earnings report or submitting a plan to Nasdaq to regain compliance.

Northwest Pipe reported a profit of $5.4 million, or 57 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30. That compares with a loss of $1.4 million, or 15 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2010.

The company has previously been put on notice by Nasdaq for failing to file its earnings reports in a timely manner.

Northwest Pipe also remains locked in a legal battle tied to accounting problems it first disclosed in November 2009.

In a class-action lawsuit first filed in December 2009, shareholders accuse the company and two former executives of fraud and wrongdoing.

On Aug. 26, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton denied a motion to dismiss the complaint. Since then, the parties have agreed to participate in mediation on Jan. 30, according to court documents.

Northwest Pipe manufactures large-diameter, high-pressure steel pipelines, primarily for drinking water systems.

The company’s stock, which trades as NWPX, closed down 3.35 percent, at $23.96 per share.