If Nasdaq delists Apple from the stock exchange shareholders might experience a wealth-loss of 19 per cent, according to Georgetown University research.

Apple has been threatened with delisting because it is late filing its quarterly reports. This is due to options accounting issues that need to be resolved. Apple is not the only company to have been threatened with delisting.

An Associated Press report examines what happens if stocks are delisted, according to the research by Georgetown University. Once stocks are delisted they are moved off the major exchanges, and that makes them less liquid. As a result a stock can be more expensive to buy and cheaper to sell.

It is unlikely that Apple, or any other companies facing the same threat, will be delisted, notes the report, referring to similar circumstances following the dot-com boom when 10 per cent of companies were threatened with removal.

"They couldn't delist that many stocks, and they didn't," said Maureen O'Hara, a professor of management at Cornell University's business school.