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« Uranium: How high could the price go…$576? | Main | FRONTEER DEVELOPMENT GROUP: Up 4% today! »
Saturday
Feb102007

URANIUM STOCKS: The ticker symbol nightmare!

The following is an extract from an email from a reader in the USA who finds some of the uranium stocks difficult to find and the stock ticker symbol situation just as difficult to navigate as we do.

Hi Bob at Uranium Stocks,
In my search for a couple of good uranium stock plays I ran across your site, which I really appreciated. Many of these stocks appear to be Canadian, and I am in California. When I did a search for the ticker symbols, though, my program brought up, for XXX Incorporated, for example, no less than 9 different tickers. I want to be sure I am buying the right one! Do you have a list of the symbols for the stocks you have on your watch and buy lists? I can buy Canadian stocks thru my broker if I call them, but I was hoping some might have Nasdaq OTC symbols, so I could just do it myself.
Thanks!!!



The first thing that we have got to appreciate is that this market for uranium stocks is extremely small and the trading is consequently rather thin. In one of our articles we demonstrated how a million dollars could move a stock either way as that was the total value of the shares traded on a single day. You would need a huge amount of dollars if you wanted to move a stock that is a constituent element of the DOW.

This ’thinness’ is unattractive to some stockbrokers as their living largely depends on moving big volumes of money in and around the market. It is easier for them and unfortunately some of them just cannot be bothered with the task of doing the same amount of administrative work for an order worth a $1000.00 when there are bigger fish to fry. It is a little disappointing to sign up to a web based trading broker who’s sales pitch suggested that you could trade anywhere, at any time etc. But they are there to make money too!

Now remember the old adage of not putting all your eggs into one basket, well it applies to investment. If you have a significant amount of cash in the market then we would suggest the use of more than one broker. If a broker should go ‘pop’ in the middle of the night then you have not lost everything. The other advantage is that you can chose a broker based on the geographical area of your investments. Here at uranium-stocks we currently use three brokers, as it is horses for courses in this market.

When you think about it not all companies actually qualify for a listing on the large American exchanges, as they do not match the investment criteria required by that particular exchange.

A fledgling exploration company with a small market capitalisation begins life on the smaller stock exchanges such as the Toronto Venture Exchange. As the stock matures it will qualify for listing on the big board, the Toronto Stock Exchange. Should the management decide that it would be beneficial to gain even more exposure for their company then they would apply for a listing in the America and Britain and so on.

Now with the exception of one or two of the larger uranium stocks you will not find too much to get excited about on the larger stock exchanges, in our humble opinion. In fact by the time some of the smaller explorers reach the sort of maturity required for such listings we think that they could possibly have done their run and we will be out!

The ticker symbol confusion is an absolute nuisance we agree and you would think that the stock exchange fraternity could put their heads together and resolve this problem. Some companies manage to retain the same symbol in both Canada and the USA which is useful but the number of times we have searched for a company using the ticker for a stock in the mining sector and come across Big Joes academy for body builders, no disrespect to Big Joe if such a company exists, is really irritating.

In conclusion to alleviate this problem in all of our articles we have tried to remember to state the companies full name, ticker symbol and the exchange that it is trading on.
If you are having difficulty locating the company then try the following:

1. Type the ticker symbol: XXX if you have no luck then;
2. Type XXX.TO for the Toronto exchange, if that fails try:
3. XXX.V for the Venture Exchange.

It is a little hit and miss, but a visit to the companies website should tell where they can be found. If they can not be found on your web based trading portal then you are stuck with a choice of using the phone to place your orders or setting up another account that encompasses the areas in which you want to trade. We have made our choice.

Be patient it is worth the hassle.

07 February 2007


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Reader Comments (9)

Hello,
As a US-based investor that focuses almost exclusively on Canadian-exchange-listed companies, I thought I would chime in here. One web site that can be useful in finding the OTC symbols for TSX/TSX-V listed stocks is htp://www.pinksheets.com. There are very few companies that do not have an OTC symbol that can be used by US-based online investors to make trades. Most brokerages will allow you to make online trades using the OTC symbol, though some, like Scottrade, require you to phone in the orders.

I have been using E*Trade for some time now and have been quite satisfied with their commissions ($7.99) and executions. I belong to an investment club that uses Scottrade, but pay higher commissions there for Canadian-listed stocks and as I mentioned, have to phone in the orders. Interactive Brokers has a very good commission structure as I understand it but offers very little in the way of customer service. Penntrade (like IB) allows you direct access to Canadian exchanges but at a higher commission rate. Also, Penntrade is not available in all states.

Hope this helps,

TSL

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTheSlowLane

Thanks ever so much for adding a lot of clarity to this subject it really is appreciated. We have been surprised just how much confusion abounds in this area of investment. You can punch in your symbol and a chart pops up that bears no resemblance to a stock that you are familiar with, then it dawns on you that its a very famous bank! A nice bank, but not for us!

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob

Hi:

For those who would like to trade the TSE/Venture stocks, I recommend the TSX web-site: http://www.tsx.com/

One can look up symbols, shares outstanding, recent trades, company news, company web-sites, and a wealth of other information. A second important site is SEDAR, a repository of public filings of all listed companies. Search by name via this link: http://www.sedar.com/search/search_form_pc_en.htm

I would emphasise that Interactive Brokers has a superb trading platform for experienced traders and has terrific commissions. The minimum fee is C$2 per trade, maximum is 1¢ per share or 0.2% of the trade, whichever is least. So 1000 shares at $50 would cost C$10, or 10,000 shares at 50¢ would cost C$10. For a small account that minimum of C$2 per trade can be a real boon. Customer service is a weak point. However, if your intention is to open an account with cash and you have experience of trading, then need of customer service is likely to be minimal. My own experience was complicated by transferring securities from another broker - it was frustrating to say the least. Since my accounts have settled down, the experience has been top notch. A weakness is that IB does not trade Canadian warrants (rights to buy shares at a fixed price up until a fixed date), but, in response to a user poll, they have committed to introduce such trading at an, as yet, unspecified date. They will also be introducing trading in Australian stocks, of some importance to those serious about uranium stocks. The web-site is:

http://www.interactivebrokers.com

February 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdcpc

Great call, many thanks indeed.

Gerri, if you are out there we hope this helps you to sort through the maze!

February 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob

I access your website through another website, the u3o8 Portal at www.U3O8.biz/s/home.asp. Click on "Uranium Stocks" on the bar at top of page. This lists 50 miners in order of Producers, those with Production Visibility, Advanced Exploration, and Junior Explorers. These are all great uranium investments, with the ticker symbols and stock exchanges they trade on. On the same site, a bit farther down the homepage, under Sprott Securities, is an excellent, free, 120-page report on some of the top picks in the uranium arena. Personall, these are great companies and this was a good analysis, but some of the smaller Juniors is where quick profits will be made. They are jumping 20% in a week, then pulling back, then jumping again. So look over the list of Juniors. Any questions, just ask.

February 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob G.

Bob G, A big thank you for this comment it is a super piece of intelligence gathering and will be of benefit to us and our readers. There is so much data out there that its just impossible for us to get to even a fraction of it, but we do try. Yes we have a question! Would you like to select your best stock and tell us why you like it? We could then put it on the site as a article from you and it would be something different for everyone to think about and comment on.

February 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob

good question
and good answers
thank
jcsc

March 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjames c.s. colquhoun

p.s. you can still have a challenge buying paladin....a big company in australia that trades both on the tsx and the australian exchange and the prices are quite different
jcsc

March 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjames c.s. colquhoun

Just be careful about Canadian penny stocks. I have lost $10,000's of US currency in exploration companies with no earnings and minimal revenues.

JP

May 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Premo

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