Preferred stocks have no common symbology between exchanges. And to make matters worse, each broker platform and information retrieval service implements preferred stocks differently. In this article, we will guide you through the process of looking up preferred stock symbols, particularly on our API, Market Data.
What are Preferred Stocks?
Preferred stocks, also known as preferred shares or preference shares, are a type of equity investment that holds a higher claim on a company’s assets and earnings than common stocks. These stocks pay dividends to shareholders before common stock dividends are issued and have a fixed dividend rate. Preferred stockholders also have a higher claim on company assets in the event of liquidation.
Preferred Stocks on the NYSE
NYSE ticker symbols usually have three letters. Surely if you found a 5 letter ticker, it would belong to the NASDAQ, right? Wrong! When it comes to preferred shares trading on the NYSE, most tickers have 5 letters in this format: TTTpX. Where TTT would be the three letter ticker symbol and X is the share class of the preferred shares. For example: CDRpB. CDR is the NYSE symbol for Cedar Realty Trust, the lowercase p denotes a preferred share, and finally the B indicates class B preferred shares.
When it comes to preferred stocks, the lowercase “p” in the ticker is case sensitive. For example, CpK is the preferred issue for “Citigroup ADRs of 6.875% Fixed Rate/Floating Rate Noncumulative Preferred Series K”. And CPK is “Chesapeake Utilities Corporation”.
Preferred Stocks on the NASDAQ
The NASDAQ uses a 5th letter (usually P) on the end of the symbol to represent a preferred issue of the stock. For example, LFMD is “LifeMD Inc.” while LFMDP is “LifeMD 8.875 Cumulative Perpetual Pref Shs Series A”. Nasdaq typically uses the following convention to add a 5th letter to the common stock ticker:
- P – First Preferred Issue
- O – Second Preferred Issue
- N – Third Preferred Issue
- M – Fourth Preferred Issue
Are there exceptions to these rules?
Absolutely. In the NYSE you can find “Entergy Texas Inc 5.375% Series A Preferred Stock, Cumulative” which trades under the symbol ETIp. Note how there is no trailing letter after the p to indicate the class of shares. The NYSE also has PBR.A which is an American Depository Receipt of Petrobras’ preferred stock. Instead of using the lowercase p to indicate preferred they use the period and then the letter A. The period followed by a letter is a convention that is typically used by different classes of common stock (i.e. BRK.A and BRK.B), but in the case of Petrobras’ preferred shares it is used as well.
If you are trading preferred stocks, you probably know the symbol of the issue you are looking for. But if not, we’ve found this list of preferred tickers to be helpful.
How to find the Preferred Share symbology on your broker platform?
The easiest way to learn how your broker platform handles preferred shares is to use the symbol lookup function and put in the name of a preferred issue, such as “Cedar Realty Trust” and see how the platform responds. We’ve prepared the following table (as of July 2023) with broker platforms we have tested:
|Broker Platform||Preferred Issue Symbol In Use||Example Ticker Using CDRpB|
|Robinhood||Most preferred stocks are not available to trade||N/A|
|Tradier||Most preferred stocks are not available to trade||N/A|
|* The preferred symbols for these brokerages have been reported to us as indicated in the table, but we have not independently verified the accuracy of those reports.|
How to find the Preferred Stock symbology on charting or information platforms?
If you’re using TradingView, Yahoo Finance, or more advanced platforms such as Bloomberg, it is helpful to know the symbology used in each platform if you are working with preferred stocks. Use the table below (accurate as of July 2023) to help you understand the symbology on each platform:
|Charting / Information Platform||Preferred Issue Symbol In Use||Example Ticker Using CDRpB|
How to lookup Preferred Shares on Market Data?
Whether you use our Spreadsheet Add-on our or the Market Data API, the format is the same. For NYSE-listed preferred shares you can use either a lowercase p or a hyphen. So, CDRpB or CDR-B would both be valid tickers and will return a result in any of our products. Remember, the p is case sensitive and must be used in lower-case if you need a preferred stock result. For NASDAQ-listed preferred shares just use the full 5 letter symbol, such as LFMDP.