Financial Stocks/The Lionel Corporation stock certificate
My father has 22 shares of stock from The Lionel Corporation. Does this company still exist? Do these shares have any value?
Thank you for your assistance.
Thank you for your question!
Yes, there are several things that you can do to see if an old certificate is worth anything.
The first thing is to determine if the company still trades publicly. You can search by company name on http://finance.yahoo.com
to see if they are listed and have a stock price associated with them. If they are listed, then your certificates have value.
If you cannot find them listed, then the second step is to try to determine if the company has been purchased or merged with another publicly traded company. If so, it is possible that it still trades but under a different name. Try google searching the company name, and see if you can locate any stories or news releases along these lines. If you do find something, your certificates values may be tied to the new company.
If the company is not traded publicly, but still exists, the certificate may represent ownership in a private company. The only way to determine its value, and any possible options to sell your shares, would be to contact the company directly.
If the above two do not work, it is likely that the certificates have no value, but not a certainty. The only way to be sure is to have a professional search done. There are several small companies who will research old certificates, but they do charge small fees. Here is a link to a website that lists some of the search services:
The above site is created and hosted by the SEC, so should be completely reliable.
Here is a private company with inexpensive stock certificate search services: www.stockcertexpert.com
The overall goal in all of this is to see if the company still trades, and if it does for you to contact the investor relations department of that company. Almost all public companies have a person or department that handles investor relations, and they will have the information relating to exactly how much your certificates are worth, and what to do with them. You cannot simply take the number of shares and multiply by the current stock price if it currently trades. Much time has passed since the certificates you mention were created, so the stock may have split one or more times since then, affecting the overall value in different ways.
If all else fails, the stock certificate itself may have value. There are collectors of such things, particularly if the certificate is old and/or issued by a company of particular interest. Ebay is of course one place to look at current stock certificate listings to see if you can get a general picture of this type of market, and there are specialty sites as well. Here is one such example: http://www.oldstocks.com/
I hope that this helps gets you started! In the vast majority of cases, old certificates turn out to not be worth anything. But there certainly are exceptions to that rule. Please do not hesitate to follow up with me if I can be of any additional service,