Nasdaq Bids Adios to AOL Latin America

AOL Latin America's (AOLA) declining fortunes were blessed with official confirmation Friday.

The cash-burning subsidiary of AOL Time Warner ( AOL) says it has received a delisting notice from Nasdaq because its market capitalization has fallen below $35 million.

Shares in AOL LatAm, which were first offered to the public in 2000 and peaked not long afterward at $9.94, gained a penny Friday morning to trade at 37 cents.

The company, which has focused its operations in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico, has struggled mightily of late, due in no small part to the worldwide advertising recession and Latin America's specific economic travails. Revenue for the second quarter ended June 30 was less than half of sales from the corresponding period one year earlier.

AOL LatAm, which suffered $81.8 million in negative cash flow from operations in the first half of the year to end with $8.4 million in cash on hand, says it has enough money to last it "into early 2003."

For AOL Time Warner, unfortunately, the AOL LatAm experience isn't the only example of how America Online's former hopes of world domination have turned into money pits. Earlier this year, AOL Time Warner was compelled to pay $6.75 billion in cash to buy out Bertelsmann's share of AOL's money-losing European operations.

AOL LatAm, which estimates the delisting appeals process will take 30 to 60 days, will continue to trade on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market at least until the process is resolved.

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