The New York Stock Exchange once again notified Ambac Financial Group that it could be de-listed for failing to maintain a minimum share value of $1.00 for a 30-day period, the company announced Tuesday.
Ambac is the holding company of Ambac Assurance Corp., a former leader in the municipal bond insurance industry that has not written new policies since June 2008. The parent company has been warning since November that it may face bankruptcy as early as 2011.
In December, after Ambac's value fell below $1.00 for 30 consecutive days, the NYSE notified the company it would have six months to boost its value above the minimum level in order to remain on the exchange.
Ambac avoided the de-listing when company value soared to as high as $2.25 in mid-April, but the gain in stock price proved temporary. Share value has since fallen more than 70% and has not met the minimum level since June 9.
Its price closed Tuesday at $0.66.
Peter Poillon, managing director of investor relations at Ambac, said the company is now in "the exact same situation" it was in late last year.
"We've already responded to the NYSE," he said. "We have the intent to address the issue and we have six months to address the issue - to get the price up over $1.00 in any way, shape, or form."
It is unclear if Ambac will be able to do so this time around.
Last month it said it was deciding whether to pay interest on its debt due at the end of the second quarter.
On June 30, the company did pay debt-service costs of around $5.5 million, Poillon said.
Meanwhile, on two occasions last month Ambac announced it had entered into a series of debt-for-equity exchanges, meaning that it purchased back its own debt by offering debt holders a stake in the company.
Since June 11, Ambac has issued 13.6 million shares of its common stock in exchange for $20.3 million in principal amount of its 9.38% debentures, due August 2011. Following the agreements, there will be 293 million common shares outstanding.
The agreements concern only a fraction of Ambac's debt but in theory should give a slight boost to policyholders' surplus, which is defined as assets over liabilities. However, the new shares also dilute the value of shareholders' equity.