Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Walker's Manual of Unlisted Stocks

Some stock certificates are not listed on an official stock exchange, but can still be publicly traded. These are called Unlisted Stocks. These stock certificates are traded off-exchange or over-the-counter (OTC) between two parties without any supervision of an exchange. In the US, OTC trading is carried out by brokers using an electronic service like the OTC Bulletin Board.

The movie The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) is based on the true story of stock-broker Jordan Belfort. In one of the first scenes, we see Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, working in a small office at a mini-shopping center. The low value stocks, he sells there impressively over the phone, are unlisted stocks.

Walker's Manual of Unlisted Stocks, book cover of the third 1998 edition

Walker's Manuals
Since the early 1900s Walker's manuals have been published for Pacific Coast Securities, California Securities and later also for Western Corporations. The first Walker's Manual of Unlisted Stocks was published in 1996. The book contains profiles of 500 unlisted companies and investment partnerships (funds), traded at or over $5 per share. A similar manual for companies traded under $5 is brought out as the Walker's Manual of Penny Stocks and a special manual exists for unlisted community banks. 

  • Title : Walker's Manual of Unlisted Stocks - 1998 3rd Edition
  • Author : H. K. Eisenberg
  • ID : 0-9652088-6-9, published 1998 by Walkers Manual, LLC
  • Languages : English
  • Number of pages : 526 excluding indexes
  • Images : no images
  • Index : 1. Company name, 2. Geographic area, 3. SIC code (theme). Additional indexes by a number of financial indicators such as total revenue, market capitalization, price/earnings ratio, etc. A separate index is provided for the section of the investment partnerships

Every company profile contains a single paragraph describing the company, a table with the financial indicators over the preceding four years, a comment on the company's evolution, and an overview of its officers. Both new and long existing businesses are included from all economic sectors. 

Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company
Stock certificate for common shares, issued 1985
This is one of the unlisted companies from this volume. 
The company mined bituminous steam coal in Pennsylvania since 1881. 
ROC-295 in the Coxrail database
image from eBay seller jpm8282

Is this large format book worth purchasing ?
The book was compiled for investors and in that context, absolutely. For scripophily research purposes, it depends. If you are into current American stocks, you might discover something of interest. However, the book contains only 500 profiles: a small chance to find out more about a particular type of companies you are curious about. 
TIP: regularly sells second-hand Walker's Manuals. 


Related link : Investopedia's Over-The-Counter

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