Single Letter Stock Tickers

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LettersLast week, Pandora IPO’s on the stock market with a single letter stock ticker – P. It thus joined a “prestigious” group of fewer than 26 companies to have a single letter stock ticker. Other members include Agilent, Macy’s, Ford (back from the dead), and Visa.

Does it really matter if you have a single letter? In the days of the Pony Express and ticker tapes (hence the term “ticker”), heavily traded stocks were given single letters to speed things up. Nowadays, it’s just a vanity play since we don’t use ticker tapes. Or the Pony Express (though some would argue the state of our postal service… never mind).

That reduces the number of available single letter stock tickers to six (I, J, Q, U, W, Z), so if you’re planning an IPO and want to snag one of these, I’d move quickly!

Here are the current holders of single letter stock tickers (accurate as of June 2011):

(Photo: catsplay)

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Single Letter Stock Tickers”

  1. mannymacho says:

    Does anyone know why US Steel has the “X” ticker? There’s got to be some reason but it doesn’t seem very intuitive…

    • Martha says:

      In Pittsburgh they are commonly referred to as “USX.” But I have no clue beyond that! 🙂

  2. Norman says:

    P used to be the symbol for Phillips Petroleum before they merged with Conoco.

  3. freeby50 says:


    History of US Steel :

    Apparently they had changed their name to USX in 1986 then US Steel spun off from that company in 2001. So I assume the X comes from the X in USX.

  4. govenar says:

    A single letter stock ticker kinda makes a company seem more respectable, like they’ve been around a while and are big enough and important enough to warrant a special stock ticker. But giving Pandora ‘P’ kinda makes a joke out of that.

  5. skylog says:

    i always enjoy the single stock ticker discussion when i come across it. i know that it makes no meaningful difference, but i agree that it is “neat,” and if i was a company, i would want one.

    that said, it has traditionally been the case, as far as i know, that they generally would only give these tickers to well-established and/or “prestigious” companies.

    it seems that this is not really the case these days.

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