Optio Software Inc. (Nasdaq: OPTOC) says its common stock will continue to be listed on The Nasdaq SmallCap Market and that it will change its trading symbol.

A Nasdaq Qualifications Panel granted an exception to give Atlanta-based Optio time to implement a plan to raise its trading price to comply with the $1 minimum bid price listing requirement. As a result, of the company’s conditional listing status, effective Oct. 10, its trading symbol will be changed from OPTO to OPTOC.

Optio’s proposal to Nasdaq also requested additional time to permit the company to hold a special meeting of its shareholders to seek approval of a reverse stock split. On or before Nov. 6, Optio must file a proxy statement evidencing its intent to seek approval of the reverse stock split. The company must attain a closing bid price of at least $1 per share on or before Dec. 16, and maintain a closing bid price of at least $1 per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive trading dates immediately thereafter.

In addition, on or before Dec.16, Optio must file its Form 10-Q for the period ending Oct. 31, 2002, evidencing shareholders’ equity of at least $2.5 million. The company believes that if the shareholders approve a reverse stock split and give the board the authority to determine the ratio of the split, then it can meet the Panel’s conditions. But if at some future date, the company’s securities should cease to be listed on Nasdaq, it may be listed in the OTC-Bulletin Board.

The Nasdaq Panel’s decision follows a Sept. 19 oral hearing in which Optio outlined for its case for continued listing. In its written notice of the panel’s determination, Nasdaq noted that it was “of the opinion that the company presented a definitive plan that will enable it to evidence compliance with all requirements for continued listing on The Nasdaq SmallCap Market within a reasonable period of time and to sustain compliance with those requirements over the long term..”

Optio Software: www.optio.com