What Is Q?

The letter Q used to be part of the ticker symbol for a stock trading on the Nasdaq, specifying that a particular company was in bankruptcy proceedings. If the letter Q appeared as the final letter of a NASDAQ symbol, it meant, "bankrupt: issuer has filed for bankruptcy," as the Nasdaq put it.

Key Takeaways

  • Q is a former Nasdaq designation that noted a company had filed for bankruptcy.
  • The Q would show up as the final letter in a stock symbol.
  • The NASDAQ phased out the usage of Q as of 2016.

Q Explained

The system changed in 2016 for using the letter Q. Nasdaq now uses the Financial Status Indicator, which marks key issues beyond just bankruptcy filings, including a failure to meet Nasdaq listing requirements. Other markets and exchanges may still use "Q" to indicate a bankruptcy filing, however.

Q is one of two letters that the NASDAQ no longer uses as an identifier, with the other being E.

Nasdaq-listed securities generally have four letters in their listings. The fifth letter is an identifier and there are a number of them. This includes the letter A, which denotes Class A shares, or W, which denotes warrants.