A letter that appears on a Nasdaq stock symbol specifying that a particular stock is an American Depositary Receipt. An American Depositary Receipt (ADR) is a negotiable certificate that represents one or more shares of foreign stock or a fraction of a share. ADRs are traded on a U.S. exchange and are issued by a U.S. depositary bank. ADRs were introduced in response to the difficulties involved with buying shares in foreign corporations, including the challenges of trading at different prices and currency values. U.S. banks and brokerages can purchase bulk lots of shares from the foreign corporation, bundle the shares into groups and reissue them as ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq.


Nasdaq listed securities have four or five characters. When a fifth character appears, it identifies the issue as being one that is other than a single issue of common stock or capital stock. The Y identifies the stock as an American Depositary Receipt. These issues have distinct advantages in that they are a convenient and cost-effective method of buying shares in a foreign corporation. When an investor buys or sells ADRS, he or she is trading in the U.S. market and the trade will clear in U.S. dollars. Investors can invest internationally in a variety of ways including ADRs, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, U.S.-traded foreign stocks or direct investments in foreign markets.

  1. Nasdaq

    A global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities, ...
  2. Fifth-Letter Identifier

    An additional letter added onto four-letter ticker symbols to ...
  3. Direct Investment

    1. The purchase or acquisition of a controlling interest in a ...
  4. Negotiable Certificate Of Deposit ...

    A certificate of deposit with a minimum face value of $100,0 ...
  5. American Depositary Receipt - ADR

    A negotiable certificate issued by a U.S. bank representing a ...
  6. Stock Symbol

    A unique series of letters assigned to a security for trading ...
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  1. Is there a difference between ADR and ADS?

    American depositary receipts (ADRs) allow foreign equities to be traded on U.S. stock exchanges; in fact, this is how the ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the fifth-letter identifiers on the Nasdaq?

    All of the companies traded on the Nasdaq have four-lettered tickers, which are representative of the actual company. For ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can mutual funds only hold stocks?

    There are some types of mutual funds, called stock funds or equity funds, which hold only stocks. However, there are a number ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do mutual funds compound interest?

    The magic of compound interest can be summed up as the concept of interest making interest. On the other hand, simple interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do mutual funds pay interest?

    Some mutual funds pay interest, though it depends on the types of assets held in the funds' portfolios. Specifically, bond ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why have mutual funds become so popular?

    Mutual funds have become an incredibly popular option for a wide variety of investors. This is primarily due to the automatic ... Read Full Answer >>

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