Pacific Investment Management Co. is changing the ticker symbol on its PIMCO Total Return exchange traded fund – the ETF version of its Total Return mutual fund – which began trading at the start of March under the ticker TRXT in New York. As of next week, the new symbol will be BOND, which makes sense, given that PIMCO is the world's biggest bond investor.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that PIMCO had wanted to use the BOND ticker from the outset, but it wasn't available. Since then, the company that had been sitting on the ticker (without using it) gave it up.
The switch, of course, brings to mind the question of whether there is money to be made in snatching up some of the more intuitive ticker symbols and then selling them – the way people used to make small fortunes staking out Internet domain names.
However, the answer appears to be No. According to the Journal, the New York Stock Exchange charges just $2,500 to switch a ticker symbol, and the money goes to the exchange rather than the company that had held the symbol previously.