Saskatchewan

Marijuana industry may go after PotashCorp's discontinued POT stock symbol, professor says

PotashCorp and Agrium are in their final stages of merging, and the POT stock ticker symbol will soon be discontinued — leaving it up for grabs in the future.

The stock ticker could mean better branding for the right company, but can't be reused for 53 weeks

Many players in the international stock markets request custom ticker symbols to represent their business branding. (Denis Dossman/CBC)

Imagine sifting through the Toronto Stock Exchange and seeing POT representing marijuana stocks.

It could actually happen.

PotashCorp and Agrium are in the final stages of merging into Nutrien, and the POT stock ticker symbol will be discontinued — leaving it up for grabs in the future.

"Having a ticker symbol like POT or DOPE or TOKE for a legitimate marijuana company, I think they would be very interested in having a ticker symbol that reflects what they do," said James J. Angel, associate professor in finance at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

James J. Angel, associate professor in Finance at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, was the former chair of NASDAQ's economic advisory board. (Submitted by James J. Angel)

Market regulations

According to the TSX Company Manual, another company can apply for a discontinued ticker symbol — consisting of up to four letters — but it can't be reused for 53 weeks.

Choosing a good ticker symbol is kind of like choosing a URL. You'd like to have one that fits your business.- James J. Angel

A spokeperson for the TSX said the POT symbol reservation agreement is for Canada only. On the other hand, if a ticker symbol is reserved with a U.S. marketplace, that symbol will still be available in Canada. 

Branding

The stock symbol is another way for a company to define itself, according to Angel.

"Companies like to have ticker symbols that are related to what they do," he said. "Choosing a good ticker symbol is kind of like choosing a URL. You'd like to have one that fits your business."

Potash Corp's POT stock symbol will remain in trade until Jan.1.

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