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Reading NASDAQ Ticker Symbols

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Unlike the other exchanges, all the tickers on a NASDAQ have four letter codes (unless they have five!) If a stock traded on the fifth letter, it means that the company has different types of shares, that fifth letter carries a special meaning and today I saw an article by the Motley Fool on the front page of Yahoo Finance! that only pointed out what some of the more common ones are and what they mean… but that’s not good enough. I want to know them all! :)

After a little bit of digging, which led to Nasdaq’s glossary page, I found all of them. Here is the complete list (with minor editing):

  • A, B – Class A or Class B shares
  • C – Issuer qualifications exceptions, indicates that the issuer has been granted a continuance in NASDAQ under an exception to the qualification standards for a limited period.
  • D – New
  • E – This means a company is delinquent in required filings with the SEC!
  • F – This is a foreign company.
  • G – First convertible bond
  • H – Second convertible bond, same company
  • I – Third convertible bond, same company
  • J – Voting shares.
  • K – Nonvoting shares.
  • L, Z – Miscellaneous situations, such as depositary receipts, stubs, additional warrants, and units.
  • M, N, O, P – Fourth, third, second and first preferred shares, respective, of that company
  • Q – The company is currently in bankruptcy proceedings!
  • R – Rights (not sure what this means)
  • S – Shares of beneficial interest
  • T – With warrants or with rights
  • U – Units
  • V – When-issued and when distributed
  • W – Warrants
  • Y- ADR (American Depositary Receipt)

So for example, if you look at the ticker for Comcast (CMCSA), the fifth letter is A so CMCSA are the Class A shares of Comcast Corporation. If you check out ACS Motion Control Ltd (ACSEF), a component of the Nasdaq, you’ll see that it’s located in Israel.

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4 Responses to “Reading NASDAQ Ticker Symbols”

  1. George says:

    Hey Jim,

    You should consider submitting this great post to this week’s Festival of Stocks.

    I’m bookmarking this comprehensive list of codes for future reference.

  2. Ty says:

    You know, this is great information. I am willing to bet that there are a lot of people out there investing in stocks that don’t understand the ticker symbols. I am especially worried about those who do their own trading with on-line brokerage accounts.
    Thanks for the great post!

  3. David Merkel says:

    R — Rights means separately traded rights to buy a stock from a rights offering at a given price, which is almost always lower than the current price. This differs from the ticker letter T, where the rights are still attached to the stock in question, and do not trade separately.

    PS — This table is in Barron’s each week.

  4. Reading NASDAQ Ticker Symbols

    Blueprint For Financial Prosperity presents a handy little list of possible fifth letters in NASDAQ ticker symbols and their respective meanings. All NASDAQ stocks are identified by a unique four letter code. If there is a fifth letter, it denotes some in


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