Woes mount for Merge

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Merge Technologies Inc. this week was sent a Nasdaq Staff Notification which states that the company is in jeopardy of being delisted from the Nasdaq National Market. The notice is just part of the normal process resulting from a failure to complete mandatory filing required, in this case the company’s annual report Form 10-K for 2005. As a result of the notice, Merge announced it has requested a hearing with the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel to appeal for continued listing. Currently the company's stock sits aon the Nasdaq at $15.62 per share which is a drop from $30.05, a 52-week high.

"We are cooperating fully with Nasdaq and are taking all actions necessary to bring our company back into compliance with all the listing requirements,” said Richard A. Linden, president and CEO, Merge, in a released statement.

This all follows an announcement in late February in that Merge stated it would have to delay reporting of its Q4 2005 financial results in order to complete the audit of the company's financial statements. At the time, Merge claimed diminished revenue expectations for the quarter at between $23 million and $26 million, though the expectation was that Merge’s Q4 revenue would hit close to $35.4 million.

Making matters worse, as many as five law firms have filed shareholder class action suits against Merge. One such firm, New York-based law firm Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross has announced that it has slapped the company with a suit through a U.S. District Court in Wisconsin, on behalf of investors that purchased the company’s common stock during the period from August 2, 2005 to March 16, 2006. The complaint alleges that the company mislead investors and lacked effective internal controls in its financial reporting, making it unable to properly analyze and/or estimate its future financial and operational performance.