UPDATE 1-NYSE says to suspend R.H. Donnelley stock

Dec 31 (Reuters) - The New York Stock Exchange said it determined that trading in the common stock of yellow pages directories publisher R.H. Donnelley Corp RHD.N should be suspended, effective Jan. 2.

NYSE said the decision comes after the company’s stock had fallen below the exchange’s continued listing standard, which requires an average global market capitalization of not less than $25 million over a consecutive 30 trading day period.

R.H. Donnelley has been trying everything from scrapping dividend to cutting jobs and exiting unprofitable markets in an effort to stop a slide that has seen its shares plunge from a high of $46.92 at the beginning of the year to below $1.

In a statement, NYSE said the company had previously fallen below the listing standard, which requires a minimum average closing price of $1 per share over 30 consecutive trading days.

The company, which started trading on NYSE in 1998 after it was spun-off from Dun & Bradstreet, has been struggling with a relentless decline in advertising sales in the wake of the credit crisis.

Bad debts also hit the company, which owns EMBARQ Yellow Pages and, as advertisers fell too far back on payments or just went out of business. R.H. Donnelley's slump in fortune has mirrored that of its U.S.-based rival Idearc Inc IDAR.PK and peers like British-based Yell Group YELL.L and Italian Seat Pagine Gialle SpA PGIT.MI.

In November, NYSE had suspended trading in Idearc’s stock, citing the company’s inability to meet the exchange’s minimum listing standards.

R.H. Donnelley expects its common stock to be quoted on the Pink Sheets on Jan. 2, 2009. (Reporting by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)