DEFINITION of No Quote
No quote refers to a stock or other security that is inactive or not currently being traded, and so no current two-sided market exists. A no quote stock therefore does not have a bid or ask price. No quote stocks may be infrequently traded and thus difficult to buy or sell, making them extremely illiquid. When the stock is eventually traded, it may have a very wide spread between the bid and ask price relative to that of an active stock.
Listed stocks are required to have designated specialists or market makers available to provide a two-sided market (i.e. a bid and an ask along with the size on each side of the market available for purchase or sale), either on an on-going basis or else whenever there is an explicit request for quote (RFQ). Some securities, however, do not have market makers - for instance, they may trade over the counter (OTC) or have been de-listed from an exchange. These would have no quote.
BREAKING DOWN No Quote
When a security has no active market makers or else a lack of available buyers and sellers, there is nobody to quote the market and so the issue is considered no quote. A no quote stock thus would be considered highly illiquid; where illiquidity come with higher risk because with few buyers, it may be difficult for a seller to get a desirable price. Most securities traded on exchanges are highly liquid and can be bought and sold at any time during trading hours. A very small company would be more likely to have no quote on their shares than a nationally recognized and established blue chip company.
If you are the holder of a no quote security and would like to dispose of it, you may need to enlist the aid of a broker who is able to solicit bids from potential market participants. These parties may be hedge funds, investment banks, or other institutional clients who do not mind the lack of liquidity and are willing to buy the security at a deep enough discount to make it worthwhile for them. This may be the only option for the holder of the security who was an axe to sell.
In some cases, no buyer can be found at all, in which case the owner of the no quote security has no choice but to keep holding on to the security, or else writing it off as a total loss, with a market value implicitly of zero.