Question of the Week: What happens when a company name or stock ticker changes?

Last month one of our blog readers noticed that they owned shares in a company that went through a name change and stock ticker change. They wanted to know if this has any bearing on their investment in the company.

Often when a public company goes through a name change, they will also change their stock ticker symbol. Other reasons for a ticker change may include a merger with another company or delisting from an exchange. For those who don’t know, a company chooses a stock ticker to identify it on an exchange and differentiate it from other companies when investors are looking to purchase or sell shares.

Typically, a change in name or stock ticker means very little to investors unless it is due to some kind of change of operations for the company. This might include a name change, which is due to a notable change in the business (changing industries, dropping part of their business), or if it is being delisted from an exchange. If a company is changing its name or ticker, you should research into why this is occurring to see if may affect your investment.

Since all stock trading has gone electronic, the change in name means nothing to you from an account or portfolio-basis. Your broker will simply make the change in your account or portfolio with the new ticker symbol and company name.