What is J
J is a designation appearing as the fifth letter for Nasdaq-listed stocks, specifying that the stock has voting rights. It’s a temporary suffix used to note a shareholder vote situation.
BREAKING DOWN J
J is added as the fifth letter for Nasdaq-listed securities, designating that the issue has voting rights. J also reveals that there are more than one issue of a company’s common stock.
J and Voting Shares
J denotes a stock issuance has voting rights, used temporarily during a shareholder vote situation. The designation is removed following the shareholder vote situation.
While most companies’ stock is voting, there are a few companies that offer non-voting stock to the public. For example, Google offers two classes of stock to the public. One is voting shares and the other is non-voting.
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.
Non-voting stock has no votes during a shareholder vote regardless of how many shares they own. Companies looking to keep control of a company in the hands of founders or management may issue non-voting stock.
Another tactic is issuing different classes of stock with different voting rights. That is, one class of stock may carry one vote per share, while another class may carry 10 votes per share. This class is defined as super-majority shares.
J and Other Letters
The Nasdaq uses a variety of letters to distinguish stock issuances and the rights that come along with them. For example, H at the end of a stock’s ticker symbol indicates the issuance is the second preferred bond of the company. The K at the end of a symbol means the stock is non-voting.
J and D are the only two temporary letter designations. D represents a new issue, noting that it’s a corporate reorganization. Letter E means the company is delinquent with a 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.
Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) uses a fourth letter to identify unique instances where the issuance varies from normal conditions. The NYSE uses different codes than the Nasdaq.