SciQuest, which faces being de-listed from the Nasdaq on July 14 unless is drives up its stock price, will execute a reverse stock split on May 20.

The company said some 29 million common shares would be combined into approximately 3.9 million shares based on a reverse 1-to-7.5 ratio.

SciQuest (Nasdaq: SQST) stock closed at 53 cents, down 3 cents, on Monday.

“SciQuest believes that the reverse stock split should have the effect of increasing the per share trading price of SciQuest common stock, which could result in a share price high enough to satisfy the Nasdaq bid price minimum listing of $1,” the company said in a statement.

SciQuest has changed its focus, offering a variety of procurement and materials management to life sciences, industrial research and higher education markets.

A recent report from Giga Information Group praised SciQuest’s efforts in working with universities.

“So far, SciQuest looks to be the market leader in providing e-procurement to universities, with Oracle and PeopleSoft a distant second and SAP just starting to gain clients in their installed base,” wrote Andrew Bartels of Giga. Bartels pointed out that startup Azulix also is going after the higher education market but labeled the firm as “an unproven newcomer.”

The company’s stock has fallen from a high of $1.09 on May 30 of last year to as low as 35 cents on Dec. 26. It rallied earlier this year back above 70 cents but has fallen 20 cents since February.

Stockholders approved the reverse stock split at SciQuest’s stockholders meeting on April 30.

UBS Americas is the largest institutional shareholder with 1.3 million shares.

In the first quarter, SciQuest cut expenses, increased revenues and reported a lower loss. Revenues climbed to $1.9 million, up $200,000 from the previous quarter and in the same period of 2002. Expenses were reduced to $5 million from $5.8 million in the fourth quarter. Its loss was cut to $3.7 million, or 12 cents a share, compared to $8.8 million, or 30 cents per share, in the fourth quarter and $4.6 million, or 15 cents, in 2002 before write-offs and accounting changes.