You can buy stocks that cost $1 or more per share on the New York Stock Exchange. Stock prices fluctuate throughout the trading day and can be checked on the NYSE website. However, for a company to keep trading on the NYSE, it must meet the exchange’s minimum stock price rules. As long as a company’s stock price remains at or above $1, the shares keep trading on the exchange. However, if the price falls below $1 for too long, the company risks having its stock delisted.
A stock can be below $1 and stay listed on the NYSE for less than 30 trading days. At that point, the company receives an initial price violation notice and must inform the NYSE of its plans to increase the stock price to avoid being suspended or delisted.
Minimum Stock Price
Just because a stock’s price falls under $1 doesn’t mean that buying and selling stops. The stock can sell for under $1 a share for 29 consecutive trading days and still be safe from delisting. However, it must sell for $1 or more on day 30. If the stock sells for under $1 a share for 30 consecutive days, it's in violation of the NYSE minimum price regulations.
Initial Price Violation Notice
The NYSE notifies the company if the stock price remains stuck under $1 a share for 30 or more consecutive days. The company has only 10 days from the day it receives the notice to tell the NYSE what it plans to do. The company has the choice of getting the stock price back up or being delisted from the exchange, and it must submit a plan to the exchange explaining how it will increase the stock price. If the company opts for delisting, the NYSE can suspend the stock’s trading and start the delisting process.
The NYSE will suspend the stock’s trading if the company can’t bring the stock price back up or if it doesn't approve the company’s plan. To notify current and potential stockholders, the NYSE issues a press release announcing the upcoming suspension. After completing the suspension application, the NYSE sends it to the Securities and Exchange Commission. During this time, the stock continues trading on the exchange. However, if the stock price fell because of corporate fraud, the NYSE can immediately suspend trading indefinitely.
The NYSE sends a delisting notice to the company and issues a press release explaining why the company is being delisted. The NYSE notifies the press daily about how the delisting process is going. If the company doesn’t want to be delisted, it can appeal the delisting and request a review before the SEC. If the SEC denies the appeal, or if the company opted for delisting, all trading stops and the stock is removed from the NYSE.
Based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Karen Rogers covers the financial markets for several online publications. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida.