DUBLIN, Ireland Trinity Biotech, which has been quoted on the Nasdaq SmallCap market since 1992, will seek a secondary listing on the Irish Stock Exchange later this year. The company, now based on the outskirts of Dublin in Bray, County Wicklow, has appointed Goodbody Stockbrokers, of Dublin, to handle the process.
The company is not raising more cash, but sees the secondary listing as a means of bringing more stability to its share price. ¿We have noted that a secondary listing on the Irish market has been good for other [Nasdaq-quoted Irish] stocks,¿ said Trinity Biotech¿s chairman and CEO, Ronan O¿Caoimh.
The company hopes to stabilize its share price by attracting institutional investors, foreign and domestic, via its Dublin listing. Trinity Biotech is included in the Nasdaq Russell 2000, which measures the performance of small-cap stocks. The index dropped about 35 percent last year, O¿Caoimh said, because of the general movement of cash from smaller stocks to larger plays.
The company is in profit and does not need cash for operational purposes. It spent about US$17 million on acquisitions in the last fiscal year and another US$11.7 million in fiscal 1997. Its ability to grow through further acquisitions is hampered by its dilution-sensitive stock.
¿I think we¿re in that transition phase of moving from basically a hope¿ story into an earnings story, and sometimes you suffer during that transition,¿ O¿Caoimh said. He predicted a 50 percent growth in earnings per share for fiscal 1998 and for fiscal 1999. The company currently has 25 million shares in issue, which is equivalent to a market capitalization of US$37.5 million at last week¿s close. Cormac Sheridan