When THQ announced that a reverse stock split option would be put in front of investors as a means to rescue the company from NASDAQ delisting, it became clear that the company would survive. Put between the of a consolidation of shares and the hard place of being removed entirely from one of the biggest stock exchanges, shareholders were left with only one option that made any sense.
Sure enough, on July 2, 2012, the publisher announced that a 1:10 reverse split would go into effect just a week later. This effectively reduced the number of shares of THQ stock from 68.5 million to 6.9 million. On july 9, when the split went into effect, shares opened at $5.09 each, closing up at $5.79. Since then, prices have steadily dropped, closing yesterday at only $5.05. More importantly, the price has been above the $1.00 minimum for ten consecutive business days and today earned the publisher a notice of compliance from NASDAQ.
What happens from here is in the hands of THQ’s management as they enter a period that will see highly anticipated title like Darksiders II, WWE ’13, Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light and a little game called South Park: The Stick of Truth. Recently that team saw significant changes with the exit of Danny Bilson and the hiring of Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin as the company’s new president. Now, the Saints Row publisher has brought on another industry veteran.
Ron Moravek comes to THQ with 14 years of industry experience. While his most recent company, NuCaptcha might only be known to gamers because of the odd sequences of letters we often type at the bottom of online forms, it’s no stranger to publishers. In fact, THQ is a client of the firm.
Moravek does have quite a bit of gaming credibility, also. He co-founded and was Chief Operating Officer of Relic Entertainment and helped arrange the studio’s sale to THQ in 2004. Moravek has also served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of EA Canada. As THQ climbs out from under a rough period that started with the failure of the uDraw and has, hopefully, culminated with this latest reverse stock split, it’s clear that they are trying to put together a management dream team.
The first test of marketing and production prowess begins in just under a month when Darksiders II arrives, continuing through early next year when the current (known) slate of marquee titles wraps up. Here’s hoping this is the turning point for THQ.