Phone-Book Publishers Stage Bankruptcy Bounce: Chart of the Day

Bankruptcy filings by two of the largest U.S. telephone-directory publishers led to an atypical performance for their shares: they rose.

Dex One Corp. and SuperMedia Inc. submitted Chapter 11 petitions yesterday in order to carry out a merger, which the companies approved in August. They sought court protection three years after emerging from earlier reorganizations.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows how far their shares have plunged since Dex One, based in Cary, North Carolina, started trading on Feb. 1, 2010. SuperMedia, based in Dallas, made its market debut about four weeks earlier.

Dex One, formerly R.H. Donnelley Corp., peaked during its first month of trading and then plummeted as much as 99 percent. SuperMedia, which Verizon Communications Inc. spun off as Idearc Inc. in 2006, set its high in April 2010 and later lost as much as 98 percent.

Revenue at both companies has fallen since the second quarter of 2011 as consumers increasingly shun printed phone directories and use online listings. Dex One’s fourth-quarter results, released yesterday, showed a seventh straight quarter-to-quarter decline in sales. SuperMedia is due to release last quarter’s results on March 21.

Dex One and SuperMedia each rose 11 percent in the wake of their bankruptcy filings yesterday. The companies expect to conclude their deal and emerge from court protection within 60 days, they said in a statement.