What Is H?

H, the last character on some NASDAQ stock symbols, is one of the fifth-letter identifiers attached to the issuing company's stock when it sells securities with a second convertible bond.

Understanding H

H is known as a fifth-letter identifier because NASDAQ-listed securities historically had only four characters. NASDAQ-listed securities have four or five characters. If a fifth letter appears, it identifies the issue as other than a single issue of common stock or capital stock. In other words, fifth-letter identifiers are used to denote that there are additional circumstances with that company's stock. Since 2007, NASDAQ-listed stocks may have as little as one letter in their ticker symbols.

Other common fifth-letter identifiers are A (class A shares), B (class B shares), G (first convertible bond), K (non-voting shares), Q (bankruptcy), W (warrants), and Z for miscellaneous. Each letter of the alphabet has a specific NASDAQ meaning. When a stock has a fifth letter after its ticker symbol, further research is needed to determine why the letter has been added. H is also the stock ticker symbol of Hyatt Corporation but it is important to note that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ do not employ the same codes.

NASDAQ is a global electronic marketplace for buying and selling securities, as well as the benchmark index for U.S. technology stocks. NASDAQ was created by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) to enable investors to trade securities on a computerized, speedy and transparent system, and commenced operations on February 8, 1971. The term NASDAQ is also used to refer to the NASDAQ Composite, an index of more than 3,000 stocks listed on the NASDAQ exchange that includes the world’s foremost technology and biotech giants.

The NASDAQ computerized trading system was devised as an alternative to the inefficient specialist system, which had been the prevalent model for almost a century. The rapid evolution of technology made the NASDAQ's electronic trading model the standard for markets worldwide. As it was a leader in trading technology, the world’s technology giants chose to list on the NASDAQ in their early days. As the technology sector grew in prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, the NASDAQ became the most widely followed proxy for this sector.

Key Takeaways

  • H, the last character on some NASDAQ stock symbols, is one of the 'fifth-letter identifiers' attached to the issuing company's stock when it sells securities with a second convertible bond.
  • Fifth-letter identifiers are used to denote that there are additional circumstances with that company's stock.
  • Other common fifth-letter identifiers are A (class A shares), B (class B shares), G (first convertible bond), K (non-voting shares), Q (bankruptcy), W (warrants), and Z for miscellaneous.

NASDAQ Three-Tiered Market

The Capital Market is an equity market for small-cap companies. Listing requirements are less stringent than for other NASDAQ markets that list larger companies with significantly higher market capitalization. The Global Market consists of 1,450 mid-cap stocks that meet NASDAQ's financial and liquidity requirements and corporate governance standards. The Global Select Market is a market capitalization-weighted index made up of 1,200 US-based and international large-cap stocks that represent the Global Select Market Composite.