What is 'E'

"E" was a temporary character suffix added to stock symbols traded on the NASDAQ exchange indicating that the issuer of the stock was delinquent in regulatory filings. The "E" suffix is currently only used for Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) issues. The NASDAQ replaced the the "E" suffix with the Financial Status Indicator (FSI) in 2005 and required that all data providers be compliant by February 1, 2006. The FSI required financial data feeds to show customers when a company had failed to submit regulatory filings on time.

Breaking Down 'E'

"E" and "Q" (for bankruptcy situations) were stock symbol suffixes used for many years. NASDAQ considered expanding the temporary suffix for all listing deficiencies, however, NASDAQ decided against it because of complaints received over the years from traders and investors that the symbol changes made it difficult to track the trading history for a given security. NASDAQ replaced the symbol suffixes with the Financial Status Indicator Field so as to ensure that market players had access to both financial status information and the trading history for a given security.

NASDAQ data distributors are now required to show customers an FSI data box if the symbol being viewed is delinquent in submitting regulatory filings. Most data vendors do not show the FSI data box if the company is current or normal in their filings. In other words,  if the company is current in their filings, an alert is not shown. If the company of the stock symbol is delinquent, an alert should be shown near the top of the display, and should not be hidden from the viewer's view.

For example, if a company has not submitted required documents, this could affect the listing of the security on the exchange or result in other problems for the company. In such a case, if that stock symbol is listed on the NASDAQ, the exchange requires that data vendors show viewers that the financial status of the company is not normal by way of the FSI data box. Data vendors are companies that provide stock quotes to customers, such as when a stock quote is looked up on a website or through an online broker.

The FSI display requirement does not apply to voice or television services. For example, if a cable television show is discussing a stock they don't need to provide the FSI data if the company has failed to submit filings, although they should provide an alert or let the viewers know. 

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