Fun Ticker Symbols


Yesterday's USA Today had an interesting article by Matt Krantz about companies getting cute with their stock market ticker symbols. Earlier this week, Harley-Davidson began trading under the symbol "HOG," instead of their old "HDI."

Some others mentioned in the article:

BID - Sotheby's
BUD - Anheuser-Busch
CAKE - Cheesecake Factory
DISH - Echostar
DNA - Genentech
LUV - Southwest Airlines
YUM - Yum Brands (Pizza Hut holding company)
ZEUS - Olympic Steel

The Southwest symbol, LUV, has been around since 1975. They were somewhat ahead of their time with the fun ticker. I guess it's no surprise that the company has maintained an image as the fun airline for so many years.

Krantz did explain that these fun ticker symbols don't seem to have an impact on investors. Although he went on to give an example of a symbol that seemed to backfire, when video game maker Majesco changed its symbol to COOL in 2005. Its stock has fallen by 85% since the change.

Speaking of backfiring, I guess mental_floss would need to be careful with our symbol if we ever went public. Some abbreviations for the name aren't so flattering.