Protection One gets NYSE notice

Company to boost stock price to meet listing rules
Wednesday, October 1, 2003

TOPEKA, Kan. - After a number of years of lackluster stock performance, Protection One was notified in August that its stock had fallen below the listing standards on the New York Stock Exchange and that the company must boost the price of its shares to remain on the board.
The company received the listing notification, its second in its history, after its common stock fell below an average share price of $1 for a 30-day period. The share price, which at press time was about $0.78, had not reached $1 since July 1, 2003. Protection One received the same notification in January 2001, when the stock was below the minimum standards for 39 days.

While Protection One’s parent company, Westar Energy, plans to sell off its 88 percent stake in the security company to strengthen its own tenuous financial situation, Protection One management has been struggling over the past few years to reduce account attrition, which now stands at around nine percent, and a string of losses. The company’s most recent adjusted net loss for the second quarter of 2002 was $4.9 million.

“In regard to this most recent notification, we are…in the process of exploring strategic alternatives for our company, and we have notified the NYSE of our intent to take action to cure the price condition within the six-month time frame,” said Robin Lampe, company spokesperson. “However, we cannot discuss, at this time, what that action might be.”

To continue its listing, the stock must return to compliance with NYSE rules within six months of the warning or face delisting.

“Previously our stock price rose and met the listing criteria relating to minimum share price within the time period allowed by the NYSE,” Lampe said. The company also believes that there are other trading venues open to the company, such as the NASDAQ or the American Stock Exchange and other alternatives.

In the heydays of the 1990s, Protection One’s stock traded in the $12 and $13 range.