With stock in yearlong freefall, Acutus Medical hit with threat of Nasdaq delisting

About a year after Acutus Medical’s shares first dipped below the $10 mark, the stock is now valued at a fraction of that price, putting it at risk of being booted from the Nasdaq.

In a filing this month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the devicemaker reported that it has fallen out of compliance with the stock exchange’s listing rules, thanks to a month’s worth of trading below $1. Acutus now has six months to turn things around, lest its stock be either demoted to the low-cap Nasdaq Capital Market or removed from trading altogether.

That’s an unfortunate turn of events for the cleverly named “AFIB” ticker—not to mention, a far cry from just two years ago, when Acutus made an initial public offering in August 2020 that set its shares at an opening price of $18. In the ensuing months, even amid some sharp drops, the stock regularly stretched up past the $30 threshold.

But what goes up must come down, and that was certainly the case for Acutus’ Nasdaq listing, which began sliding downwards in the first few weeks of 2021 and has hardly reversed course since. It plummeted below $4 last November—amid the release of a less-than-stellar earnings report—and has yet to recover past that mark.

The Nasdaq’s Nov. 2 warning was triggered by 30 consecutive business days spent trading below $1; Acutus’ stock didn’t surpass that price at all between Sept. 21 and Monday of this week, when the news of the SEC filing finally sent the stock creeping back upwards.

Acutus now has a 180-day grace period to attempt to keep its share price above $1 for at least 10 consecutive business days. If that doesn’t happen before May 1, it can drop down to the Nasdaq Capital Market for another six months, during which it will keep attempting to get back on track with the market’s listing requirements. If that still doesn’t happen, “the company’s failure to regain compliance during this period could result in delisting,” Acutus wrote in the filing.

The stock’s struggle comes amid a tough few years for Acutus. In 2021, its first full year after going public, the company reported record-high revenues alongside even higher losses: Though it doubled its previous year’s revenues, with $17.3 million for all of 2021, Acutus hemorrhaged $96.5 million in operating losses, for an overall net loss of more than $117 million.

In an effort to stanch the outflow, the company kicked off 2022 with a series of cost-cutting measures in mind. It started with a round of layoffs that eliminated 55 jobs by mid-March, according to a January notice (PDF) that Acutus filed in compliance with the national Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

Then, in late April, the company inked a deal with Medtronic that would hand off Acutus’ entire portfolio of left-heart access devices to the medtech giant. Medtronic paid $50 million up front in the initial closing of the deal in July, bringing the devices under the Medtronic umbrella even as Acutus continues to commercialize them.

This month saw Acutus reap another payment from Medtronic: According to a company release last week, Acutus earned $20 million for reaching the first milestone in the buyout deal, which also allows the devicemaker to officially become an original equipment manufacturer for Medtronic.