Who says companies don’t have a sense of humor? It is true that most companies’ stock symbols are specifically chosen to resemble their names and are therefore easy to remember. For example, Microsoft’s stock symbol is MSFT, Johnson and Johnson’s symbol is JNJ, Procter & Gamble’s symbol is PG. Other companies try to be more creative in choosing their stock symbol. We’ve compiled a list of companies whose stock symbols are a bit whimsical, but still somehow reflect what their business is about.
BID – Sotheby’s. This is an auction house for art, antiques, jewelry, fine furniture, memorabilia and other luxury items. How does a buyer buy items at auction? He is BIDDING on her.
BTU – Peabody Energy is the largest private coal mining company in the world and uses the universally recognized symbol for energy – British Thermal Units as its stock symbol when spelled out in full.
BUD – Anheuser-Busch brews over sixty beers and other alcoholic beverages including Michelob, Busch and of course Budweiser; (“This BUD is for you.”) They also sell some imported beers like Grolsch.
CAKE – The Cheesecake Factory is a casual restaurant chain that serves appetizers, pasta, meat and fish dishes and of course their famous dessert – cheesecake (50 varieties). Its symbol is said to make your mouth water.
CHIC – Charlotte Russe Holdings is a specialist retailer for young women’s fashion. Stores include Charlotte Russe and Rampage, which can be found in malls across the United States.
CLUB – Town Sports International Holdings Inc. operates a chain of fitness clubs. Most are in the New York area (New York Sports Clubs), although they have a few in Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia and even a handful in Switzerland.
DNA – Genentech is a biotech company that uses recombinant DNA technology to discover new ways to treat diseases. What is recombinant DNA?
EAT – Brinker International franchisees and operates restaurant chains including Chili’s Grill & Bar, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Maggiano’s Little Italy. Customers can eat, drink and be merry at a number of places that offer tasty dishes!
FUN – The Cedar Fair Entertainment Company owns amusement parks. In addition to the flagship Cedar Point, these include Knott’s Berry Farm, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Great America, Kings Dominion, and Canada’s Wonderland in Ontario. Investors are hoping this isn’t too much of a rollercoaster ride.
GAS – Jumpin’ Jack Flash is a natural gas distribution company! It operates in northern Illinois. But that’s not all. Nicor Inc. also owns Tropical Shipping, which operates throughout the Caribbean.
GEEK – Internet America Inc. – a Texas-based internet service provider. It’s a penny stock, so watch out geeks!
HOG – Harley-Davidson Inc. – both customers and shareholders of this motorcycle manufacturer often feel like they are in “pig heaven”.
LEO – Dreyfus Strategic Municipals Inc. is a closed-end fund investing in long-term municipal bonds. The Dreyfus logo features a lion, hence the stock symbol.
LUV – Southwest Airlines – Their stock symbol harks back to where it all began for this airline – Dallas’ Love Field – but has the added benefit of an implication that they go beyond mere friendly skies.
NUT – ML Macadamia Orchards LP is a Hawaii-based macadamia nut grower that claims to be the largest in the world. This stock brings out the nut in every investor/trader.
PAY – VeriFone Holdings Inc. sells online payment processing software. “The way to pay” is their motto.
POS – Catalina Marketing Corp. – This company’s coupon printing machines base their offers on the purchases made by customers identified at the ‘point of sale’, hence the symbol. The POS icon will soon disappear as Catalina Marketing has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.
RIG – It should come as no surprise that the company claiming this symbol is Transocean Inc., the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor. Interestingly, their web address [http://www.deepwater.com].
SAM – The Boston Beer Company – Brewers of Samuel Adams beers named after the patriot, Massachusetts politician and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Ironically, Sam Adams was really a brewer, but a rather lackluster one, and his brewery failed in 1764.
SEA – Star Maritime Acquisition Corp. – a company established to acquire assets of the shipping industry.
TAP – Molson Coors Brewing Co. – another brewing company chooses a cute stock symbol. Is it maybe something they drink? It was created by the merger of Coors of the United States and Molson of Canada. It produces Molson Canadian, the popular Coors Light, Carling, the UK’s best-selling lager, and Zima malt.
TAXI – Medallion Financial Corp. – The core business of this specialist finance company is financing the purchase or lease of taxi medallions in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Newark, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
USA – Liberty All Star Equity Fund – This diversified closed-end investment company is decked out in red, white and blue.
YUM-Yum! Brands, Inc. – A&W Restaurants, KFC, Long John Silver’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell – if any of these tickle your taste buds, you might agree that their Yum!
ZZ – Sealy Corporation is a bedding manufacturer whose stock symbol reflects their hope that you will sleep well on their products. However, investors in Sealy hope this stock doesn’t sleep.