SciQuest’s board of directors will seek approval for a reverse stock split at the company’s annual meeting on April 30.

The company announced Friday that it had filed a preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission about the move. SciQuest (Nasdaq: SQST) said the board wanted four options for the split to be executed before April 30, 2004:

  • One-for-five
  • One-for-seven and a half
  • One-for-10

The company said the reverse split should drive the company’s stock upward in price from well below $1 to between $3 and $6. SciQuest stock dipped below $1 in mid-year and has stayed there. If it remains below $1 the stock is likely to be delisted from Nasdaq.

“We believe that this proposal is in the best interest of the company and our shareholders,” said Stephen Wiehe, chief executive officer of SciQuest. “With the shareholders’ approval, the board of directors will have the flexibility to enact the most prudent strategy to maintain our listing on the NASDAQ stock market. We also feel that by positioning our securities in a higher trading range, we can create increased visibility for the company, enabling us to reach a wider range of potential investors that may ultimately improve the trading liquidity and valuation of our common stock.”

Wiehe purchased 50,000 SciQuest shares himself on Feb. 3 at 51 cents per share. James Duke, a company vice president, purchased 33,333 shares at 58 cents each on Feb. 6.

The only other recent insider activity occurred on Nov. 26 when Chief Financial Officer James Scheuer sold 101,913 shares worth some $59,000.

The company ended 2002 with $31 million in cash and other assets. For the year, SciQuest reported a loss of $15.8 million on $7.2 million in revenues as the company switched to an application service provider model versus electronic commerce. SciQuest reported $23.2 million in revenues in 2001 but lost $26.7 million.

SciQuest did report $4 million in bookings for the fourth quarter of 2002, an amount that was a record for the firm.

Proxy materials can be viewed at the SciQuest site in the investor relations section or at the SEC.