Why Helios and Matheson Stock Tumbled 27% Today

What happened

Helios and Matheson Analytics (NASDAQ: HMNY) stock dropped again on Monday -- this time down 27.6% as of 1:30 PM EDT -- on news that the majority owner of movie subscription service MoviePass is planning another reverse stock split.

And this time, it's probably going to be 500 for 1.

So what

Don't say you weren't warned. Two weeks ago, I predicted that with Helios shares selling (far) below the $1-a-share price necessary for continued listing privileges on the Nasdaq, management would soon have to take drastic action to raise its share price.

Today, Helios filed a preliminary proxy statement (a "PRE 14A") with the SEC advising that on Oct. 18, it will ask shareholders to vote to approve "a one-time reverse stock split ... in a ratio of 1 share-for-2 shares up to a ratio of 1 share-for-500 shares."

Now what

With Helios shares currently valued at about one and a half cents each, of course, a "1 share-for-2 shares" reverse split would do exactly nothing to help keep this stock trading on the Nasdaq. Fact is, the very least investors should expect is a 1-for-67 split, which would get the shares barely over the $1 threshold.

And if I were betting money (note: I am most definitely not betting any money on Helios and Matheson stock -- ever), I'd say the odds heavily favor management going all in and reverse-splitting this stock 500 for 1. That would at least temporarily lift the stock price to $7.50 a share or so, although there's no telling how long it would remain there.

One thing's for sure: Investors who own stock in this company should keep their calculators handy and prepare to divide however many shares they own now by 500.

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Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.