Tile Shop Holdings Inc., which took itself off the Nasdaq stock market in the fall of 2019, now wants back on.
The Plymouth-based retailer of tile and other home products earlier this month submitted a listing application to Nasdaq after a committee of its board of directors spent February reviewing the costs and benefits.
The move comes after Tile Shop ended 2020 in a much stronger fashion than expected a year earlier and amid a surge of initial public offerings across stock markets. Tile Shop would not raise money in the relisting, but it would regain access to a large class of institutional investors.
The pandemic initially led to a steep drop as it was forced to close stores and lay off staffers when stay-home orders first came. But as 2020 went on, Tile Shop eventually reopened and benefited, as other home products retailers did, from a surge of remodeling and other work by people forced to spend more time at home to slow spread of the coronavirus.
For the year, Tile Shop's sales were down nearly 5%. But during the last three months, they were 4% higher than the previous year and it had returned to profitability. Even more, the company through the year had wiped out $63 million in long-term debt.
"We now have significant flexibility as a debt-free retailer with a financial model that, in our view, is built to generate substantial operating cash flow," Cabell Lolmaugh, the company's chief executive, told investors and analysts earlier this month.
Lolmaugh and other executives said they couldn't discuss the decision to return to the main listing board of Nasdaq while its application was in process.
The announcement of its delisting — which moved Tile Shop's shares to what is known as the Pink Sheets, or over-the-counter trading — in October 2018 led to a drop of two-thirds of its stock value because of a massive sell-off by institutional investors prohibited from owning over-the-counter stocks. Some individual investors sued the company over the loss, and later settled.
Tile Shop's shares, which traded under $1 a year ago, closed on Friday at $6.76.
Evan Ramstad • 612-673-4241