More on the ticker symbol situation: Indices from hell
[As background for Bill and Walter: In response to a user request to have reliable unique company identifiers for the EDGAR data, I forwarded to Carl a dump of all the ticker symbols and CUSIP numbers for the companies on Compact Disclosure, for incorporation into his program for parsing the EDGAR data. Carl pointed out to me that redistribution of such a list would probably involve some copyright problems. A subsequent exchange with Al led to concluding that I had to find the source of the same data in some public record if Carl was going to be able to use it, and we still need a list of IRS numbers (right now I think Bill is using phone numbers to maintain correspondences, but I don't think users will be very happy to search on those). Al then put me in touch with David Copenhafer at the SEC in Washington, DC as a source for the missing data.
You can put what follows into your "Our tax dollars at work" file: Copenhafer told me that the SEC does not have a list of ticker symbols, nor do they have a list of CUSIP numbers or IRS numbers. What they use is their own internal CIK numbering system, which includes "non-registering entities" such as people who buy more than 5% of a company's stock. They have no way of telling which of these numbers are real companies, or even active, so there are by now 80,000 CIK numbers. Copenhafer admits that most of these are probably invalid, and they can't really search their own data. Copenhafer referred me to Mike Weeder in Chicago whose company trains people to file using EDGAR. Mike said that he doesn't have a list either, but that his way of getting the numbers was to go to the EDGAR forum on Compuserve, and get the information one company at a time. Copenhafer then suggested that I go to the Federal Register of March 18, 1993 (yes we've done this before), whose Appendix B lists all the CIK numbers and the companies/whatever associated with them, as well as the filing phase-in group. This last bit would actually give us the schedule for when a given company was supposed to be on EDGAR, which seemed useful enough that I asked our Information Center to chec k into it. The Appendix is 160 pages long and is available online through our friends at LEXIS/NEXIS. Here is a sample below (page 14690, the very beginning of the list, and yes the names are right-justified in the original, how quaint). So if we can use this list, it will cost us a couple of hundred dollars in connect time to LEXIS and somebody sitting there and hitting "Print Screen" a few hundred times (there is no easy way to dump just that appendix). Mike Weeder believes we can get the list from Disclosure at $2500, or our info center says we can order a mag tape from the Government Printing Office for a mere $37K.
So Carl, maybe you know a way around to get the Federal Register for March 18,1993 on-line more easily (the problem though, according to Weeder, is the list has changed since then, with updates perhaps only available on the restricted EDGAR Compuserve forum). That would give you just CIK numbers, but I'm not sure the ticker symbol or other data exists in the public domain at all. We may decide to dump the full CIK list eventually, but until then I'm afraid were stuck for the time being. Sorry, --David
Appendix B. -- Division of Corporation Finance -- Listing of EDGAR Filers by Company Name
CIK Issuer name Group
841020 1990 CALIFORNIA TAX CREDIT PARTNERS L P CF-09 806387 1ST AMERICAN BANCORP INC CF-07 803164 1ST COMMUNITY BANCORP INC CF-06 853832 1ST NATIONAL FILM CORP CF-10 034782 1ST SOURCE CORP CF-07 100404 2 B SYSTEM INC CF-08 718246 202 DATA SYSTEMS INC CF-08 100331 20TH CENTURY INDUSTRIES CF-04 838179 21ST CENTURY FILM CORP CF-05 100412 250 WEST 57TH ST ASSOCIATES CF-08 840468 3 BEALLS HOLDING CORP CF-04 818762 3333 HOLDING CORP CF-09 883787 3CI COMPLETE COMPLIANCE CORP CF-10 738076 3COM CORP CF-04 885520 3NET SYSTEMS INC /DE/ CF-10 735584 50 OFF STORES INC CF-06