The ".PK" is an example of a suffix representing where the security is traded—an over-the-counter (OTC) network or international exchange. The major U.S. exchanges such as the NYSE, Nasdaq, and AMEX do not have suffixes. The .PK behind a stock symbol simply means the stock in question is traded on the pink sheets or the Pink Sheets Electronic Quotation service.

Key Takeaways

  • A ".PK" following a ticker symbol indicates that the stock trades on the Pink Sheets.
  • The Pink Sheets is an over-the-counter (OTC) stock listing service with very loose listing requirements, making it a favorite among penny stocks.
  • Other two-letter qualifiers are used to show what stock exchange or listing service around the globe a share is listed.
  • A stock symbol followed by a .P by itself would indicate a preferred issue, and a .K by itself denotes non-voting shares.

Pink Sheets and OTC Stocks

The pink sheets service is a loosely regulated over-the-counter, decentralized market. There are few requirements to being listed on this network, as companies do not have to file with the SEC nor keep updated financial information. The only major requirement to being listed is to have at least one market maker, who must be registered with the SEC and a member of the NASD.

The market maker is responsible for quoting the latest trading price of the stock on the pink sheets network. This is a highly speculative and risky place to invest. Investors would be wise to only invest what they are willing to lose.

The other suffix for an over-the-counter market is ".OB." This means securities are traded on the OTCBB. Shares are further divided between the OTCQX and the OTCQB platforms. This network is also one of high risk but is less risky than the pink sheets, as it is regulated and has stricter listing requirements. Pink sheets thus have even looser listing requirements that tickers ending in .OB.

Pink Sheets is a private listing company for over-the-counter securities.

Other Suffixes and International Exchanges

The Nasdaq exchange allows ticker symbols to include a fifth letter qualifier to identify shares that may have different voting rights (for instance ABCD.A and ABCD.B would represent class A and class B voting shares for ABCD Corp.). Under this system, a ticker followed by a ".P" by itself would denote a first preferred issue. while a ".K" by itself denotes non-voting shares.

Two-letter suffixes appended to the end of a stock symbol following a period or dot most often represent exchanges outside of the United States.

For example, Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange is represented by a ".TO," so if you see a stock symbol with a .TO suffix you'll know it trades on the TSX. All major foreign exchanges have a suffix designated to them.

Here is a list of a few international exchanges:

Country Exchange Suffix
Australia Australian Stock Exchange .AX
Brazil Sao Paolo Stock Exchange .SA
Canada Toronto Stock Exchange .TO
China Shanghai Stock Exchange .SS
France Paris Stock Exchange .PA
Germany XETRA Stock Exchange .DE
Hong Kong Hong Kong Stock Exchange .HK
India Bombay Stock Exchange .BO
Mexico Mexico Stock Exchange .MX
New Zealand New Zealand Stock Exchange .NZ
United Kingdom London Stock Exchange .L
Venezuela Caracas Stock Exchange .CR