DEFINITION of 'Fifth-Letter Identifier'

An additional letter added onto four-letter ticker symbols to signify to market participants that there is additional information about a specific company's stock. Also known as fifth-letter codes, this applies to stocks listed on the Nasdaq and Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB). There are several different fifth-letter identifiers, ranging from A to Z, and each letter represents something different.

BREAKING DOWN 'Fifth-Letter Identifier'

For example, Microsoft trades under the ticker MSFT on the Nasdaq. A fifth-letter identifier could be "A," which would change the full ticker symbol to MSFT.A. The fifth-letter identifier "A" represents Microsoft class A shares. The most common fifth-letter identifiers are: "A" for class A shares, "B" for class B shares, "D" for new issue, "J" for voting, "Q" for bankruptcy and "R" for rights.

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