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Suffolk Bancorp to appeal Nasdaq delisting

Suffolk Bancorp said it lost $9.2 million in

Suffolk Bancorp said it lost $9.2 million in the third quarter, mostly on the sale of bad loans. (May 12, 2011) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Suffolk Bancorp said Tuesday it has received official notice that, because of its delay in filing financial reports, the Nasdaq stock exchange will delist it. It has said previously it will appeal.

The actual removal of the company's stock from the Nasdaq will be on hold as it files the expected appeal before a Nov. 15 deadline, gaining an automatic extension of 15 days to prepare its past-due filings.

The bank holding company, based in Riverhead, is the parent of the 30-branch Suffolk County National Bank.

Its shares closed Monday at $8.77, representing a 64 percent decline for the year so far.

Newsday reported Monday that Suffolk Bancorp also faces at least seven shareholder lawsuits charging that executives misrepresented its financial condition last year and earlier this year by understating reserves set aside to cover losses on loans. At least two allege that certain insiders sold their own shares before the price plummeted.

Delisting is a blow to a company's prestige. A delisted stock can continue to trade electronically on an alternative quotation service, but such shares are considered more risky because there is less regulation of them.

The bank says it is profitable. It earned $3,072,000 in the quarter ended Sept. 30. But it was unable to say how that result compared with the same period a year earlier because the bank is in the process of restating financial figures for the periods from last year's third quarter through the second quarter this year.

The company declined to comment on the seven shareholder suits, which were filed in federal court for the federal court in Brooklyn, which oversees Long Island.

Photo: Suffolk Bancorp in Riverhead (May 12, 2011)

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