Stock Certificates (also referred to as "share certificates.") (Updated Sep 19, 2021.)
This page is one step of our Stock Recovery Process. There is a link to the next step at the end of this page. If you haven't gone through the previous steps to determine which of six HP-related stocks you should have, start here: Employee Stock
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Overview of stock certificates.
An article on the "Investopedia" investor education and news website
From that article:
"Never just throw away your old share certificates. They can still be worth something. Here are a few steps you can do to help determine their value:
- Contact your stockbroker to look up the share certificate's CUSIP number. [If there is no CUSIP number on the certificate.]
- Figure out whether the company is still publicly traded. [The HPAA has that information here: HPAA Stock Decoder ]
- Call the share certificate's transfer agent (the agent should be listed on the certificate.)"
Alumni have reported two possibilities that should be explored when dealing with old stock:
1. Contact the transfer agent.
Every company that issues stock has a Stock transfer agent that the company pays to keep track of all the shares. Your point of contact is the transfer agent, not the company.
Dividend payments and stockholder communications are sent to you at the address on file with the transfer agent. The company will not update that address for you. (More on transfer agents: Where's my stock? )
The transfer agent should be able to tell you what happened with that lot of stock. (If transfer agent is not named on the certificate or can't be reached, see HPAA Stock Decoder )
It is possible that the certificate owner cashed out the shares by declaring to the transfer agent that the certificate was lost. In that case, they would "Purchase an indemnity bond to protect the company against the chance that the lost certificate may be presented at a later date." https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/share-certificate.asp
2. Check for unclaimed property.
The shares -- or an uncashed payment check for the shares -- may have been treated as unclaimed property. "Unclaimed or 'abandoned' property refers to property or accounts within financial institutions or companies -- in which there has been no activity generated (or contact with the owner) regarding the property for one year or a longer period. After a designated period of time (called the dormancy period) with no activity or contact, the property becomes 'unclaimed' and -- by law -- must be turned over to the state."
It is tedious -- but straightforward -- to check for unclaimed property. Member advice: https://www.hpalumni.org/Unclaimed (Checking for unclaimed property is a good idea for everyone to do as a general practice.)
If you have HP or HPE stock: follow our step-by-step Stock Recovery Process: Employee Stock
If formerly a regular, direct U.S. employee of HP or HPE -- or are in the process of leaving -- join the HP Alumni Association. No charge, thanks to HPAA's Supporting Members.
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