DEFINITION of 'R'

R is an occasional fifth letter in a Nasdaq-traded company's ticker symbol that identifies the stock as a rights offering. Nasdaq-listed securities usually have four or five characters. The ticker symbol by itself has four letters; if a fifth letter appears, it identifies the issue as other than a single issue of common or capital stock. The Nasdaq has a fifth-letter identifier for every letter of the alphabet; for example, "D" denotes a new issue, "F" denotes a foreign issue, and "Q" denotes bankruptcy.

R is also a common symbol representing "return" in many financial formulas. There are many different types of returns and they are usually denoted with the upper or lower case letter "R," though there is no formal designation. If there are multiple returns used in a calculation, they are often given subscript letters.

BREAKING DOWN 'R'

A rights offering is an issue of rights to a company's existing shareholders that entitles them to buy additional shares directly from the company in proportion to their existing holdings within a fixed time period called the subscription period, which typically lasts one to three months. In a rights offering, a subscription price at which each share may be purchased is normally at a discount to the current market price. Existing shareholders are not obligated to buy additional shares. They may decline to exercise their rights or, if the rights are transferable, they may sell them on the open market. Such securities are quoted on stock exchanges.

In formulas, lower case "r" usually represents the required rate of return. RE is usually expected return. RM is usually the return on the market as a whole. Rf or Rrf is usually the risk-free rate of return. R1, R2, R3, Ri are returns in the first, second, third and -ith period, respectively.

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