Orient Paper to Change its Name to IT Tech Packaging, Symbol to "ITP"
Orient Paper Inc. (NYSE American: ONP), which has fought allegations of fraud in the past, is changing its name to IT Tech Packaging Inc. and its trading symbol to "ITP," effective August 1.
The stock of Orient Paper, a maker of paper products in China, rose 2 percent Thursday to $1.02 per American depositary share.
The change in its name is expected to take effect through a short-form merger, the company said in its statement Thursday. Upon the merger, Orient Paper's stock will trade under a new CUSIP number.
Orient Paper is among companies eyed suspiciously by stockholders on Wall Street after in 2010 the company was targeted by allegations of fraud by short-seller Muddy Waters Capital LLC. The short-seller's research stated, among other things, that the company inflated its profits and that the level of activity on its factories was "far less and on a much smaller scale" than Orient Paper&`#`39;s financials suggested.
The Baoding-based company has been trading on the NYSE since 2007, after entering the U.S. market through a reverse merger. In January 2010, the company's stock reached its peak price of not quite $15 per share, then began its drop.
The allegations of fraud led to shareholder lawsuits, the last of which was settled in 2012, but the damage has been done. The stock continued the slide, hit by the scandal. In the past 52 weeks, Orient Paper has been trading its shares on Wall Street in the range of 75 cents to $2.45 per share.
In the first three months of this year Orient Paper suffered losses rolled over from the fourth quarter of 2017. Its revenue for the first quarter was $1.9 million compared with $25.3 million reported a year ago. Net loss was $4.1 million, or a loss of 19 cents per share, in contrast to income of $1.7 million, or 8-cent earnings per share, for the same period last year.
The company attributed its disappointing figures to a government restriction on the natural gas supply, which led to a production halt in January.
In a May statement, the chairman, founder, and chief executive officer of Orient Paper, Zhenyong Liu, said, "Production at our manufacturing facilities has been back to normal since mid-March and we anticipate a strong rebound in our business in the second quarter."
The company expects to release its second quarter financial results between Aug. 6 and 10.
Last traded around noon on Thursday, Orient Paper closed at $1.02 per share in New York, up 2 percent.
(Source: Thomson Reuters Eikon)