What Is J?

The term J refers to a designation for Nasdaq-listed stocks that specifies that the stock has voting rights. The designation appears as the fifth letter following a dot after a stock's four-letter ticker symbol. It is added to denote a shareholder vote situation. The letter J is a temporary suffix that is removed once the shareholder vote situation is resolved. Other letter designations are used to describe share classes, foreign issues, preferred issues, and a company's financial status.

Key Takeaways

  • J is a fifth-letter designation used to denote a shareholder vote situation for Nasdaq-listed securities.
  • This letter appears after a dot following the company's ticker symbol.
  • The J-designation is temporary and is removed after the shareholder vote is complete.

Understanding J

Securities that trade on stock exchanges are represented by a series of characters, usually a set of letters. This arrangement is referred to as a ticker symbol. It allows individuals and companies to execute trades for these securities. Traders can recognize the stock exchange on which these companies trade based on the number of letters in the symbol. For instance, stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) have three letters while those on the Nasdaq have four.

Publicly-traded stocks also come with suffixes that alert shareholders to specific situations. These suffixes appear as a fifth-letter identifier following a dot after a company's ticker symbol. The letter J is one of those suffixes. This designation identifies public security issues that have voting rights. J also reveals that there is more than one issue of a company’s common stock. For example, Google offers two classes of stock to the public—one is voting shares and the other is non-voting.

As mentioned above, the letter J is only added temporarily when there is a shareholder vote situation. Common stock with voting rights is considered voting stock. The majority of common stock has voting rights. Voting stock, which carries voting rights, allows a shareholder to vote during a shareholder vote situation. The items that might require a shareholder vote include voting on board of director members or corporate transactions like mergers. The exchange removes the designation once the shareholder vote situation is complete.

Since its ticker symbols are comprised of three letters, the NYSE uses a fourth letter to identify unique instances where the issuance varies from normal conditions.

J vs. Other Letter Designations

The Nasdaq uses a variety of letters, which are called fifth-letter designations, to distinguish stock issuances and the rights that come along with them. J is just one of those designations. As mentioned above, J is a temporary addition to a stock's ticker symbol. Like J, the letter D is also a temporary suffix. D represents a new issue, noting that it’s a corporate reorganization.

If you see a ticker symbol that has the letter H after a dot, it means that the issuance is the second preferred bond of the company. The K at the end of a symbol means the stock is non-voting.

The letter E means the company is delinquent with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, while C means the company does not meet all requirements for listing on the Nasdaq. An A or B means it's the company's A or B shares, respectively, and most of the various other letters deal with being a preferred, convertible, or rights issuance.