What Does XW Mean in Investing?

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DEFINITION

XW indicates that a security is trading ex-warrant. This designation means it comes without warrants or additional rights that it originally may have had.

A security that has “XW” after its its ticker symbol is a security trading without warrants attached. Warrants are financial instruments that confer additional rights to the holder of a security, so a security trading XW comes without those additional rights. For example, shares of XYZ may come with a warrant giving holders the right to buy additional shares of XYZ at a set price on a set date in the future.

This makes them much like an option, giving the holder of the warrant the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell shares in the company. Warrants can be attached to a stock, bond, or other security.

Warrants can influence the price of a security. If the security is being sold without the warrant, it will likely be worth less, so XW is used to indicate that it is being traded ex-warrant.

Here's an example. Let’s say Jane owns a bond issued by XYZ company. The bond comes with a warrant giving her the right to buy a share of XYZ at $50. She may choose to use that warrant to take that action, leaving her with both the bond and one share of XYZ purchased for $50.

When Jane later decides to sell the bond, she has to indicate that it is XW, or being sold without the warrant, because she already exercised it.

How Does XW Work?

Companies often sell warrants as a way to raise additional capital. For example, a company with a stock price of $10 might sell warrants for 50 cents each that allow the holder to buy a proportionate amount of shares for $15 each at a set date in the future. Investors who believe that the stock will rise in price will buy these warrants to try to profit from future price increases in the stock.

One strategy that companies use is to bundle warrants with other securities they sell, such as stocks or bonds. This can make those securities more appealing to investors, which helps the business raise additional capital.

If a warrant is bundled with a security, investors need a way to understand whether the warrant is included with a security they buy on the secondary market. Adding XW to the ticker of securities being sold without the warrant adds clarity for investors.

Warrant vs. Option

Warrants and options function quite similarly, but it’s important to understand the differences.

Warrant Option
Gives the holder the right to buy or sell a stock at a set price Gives the holder the right to buy or sell a stock at a set price
Provided directly by the underlying company and new shares purchased also are issued by the underlying business Bought and sold by investors
Often packaged with other securities Independent of other securities
Expiration dates are often measured in years Expiration dates usually measured in months

What It Means for Individual Investors

Owning a security that comes with a warrant can be useful because it gives the stockholder additional rights, such as the ability to buy more shares in a company at a set price. The more rights you receive from a security, the more valuable that security will tend to be.

Securities that trade XW come without warrants, so you should be able to buy them for less than a security with a warrant attached.

Buying a stock ex-warrant may be a benefit, depending on how you value the related warrant. The use of XW to indicate ex-warrant securities makes it easier for you, as an investor, to fully understand what’s included in the security you’re intending to buy.

Key Takeaways

  • Warrants give the holder the right to buy or sell shares in the future, much like an option.
  • Companies often bundle warrants with other securities such as stocks.
  • XW indicates that a security is being sold ex-warrant—without a warrant it came with originally.

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Article Sources

  1. Nasdaq. “Warrant.”

  2. Robinhood. “What Is a Warrant?