In the ultrasensitive regulatory environment, it is never hopeful when a public company announces it will delay filing its financial statements. Investors can only assume the worst: Is the company in chaos? Is the company hiding something? Is the company under investigation?

A few months ago, the youth-oriented e-commerce and marketing company Alloy (NASDAQ:ALOY) announced it would delay filing its 10-K with the SEC. The reason? It had complications with the audit for the acquisition of dELia*s.

Thankfully, Alloy was able to file its financials yesterday. The company also said it has maintained its listing with Nasdaq. So the dreaded "E" that appeared yesterday at the end of its ticker symbol will be removed. (It is tacked on when a company is not in compliance with Nasdaq's listing requirements.)

In its earnings report, Alloy reported a loss of $9.6 million, or $0.23 a share, for the prior quarter. Wall Street expected a loss of $0.21 a share. Revenues came in at $87.8 million, up from $69.4 million a year earlier.

No doubt, Alloy is a leader in the very attractive Generation Y market, which includes more than 60 million Americans ages 10 to 24. The company's database lists more than 27 million names, with about 8.5 million of those having made a purchase with Alloy.

True, there is intense competition, such as from Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) AOL and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) MSN. But a niche player can be successful, as iVillage (NASDAQ:IVIL) has shown.

Alloy's delay in filing its SEC documents is a cause for concern. But according to the company, it appears it has been able to restructure its operations. And it's better that that work is done now -- not during the critical Christmas season.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli is the author of The EDGAR Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements. He does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned.