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With services like Google Finance or Yahoo Finance it is very convenient to find the historical stock price metric of a listed company, but if the company is not listed, I can't find the data.

For example, I want to see the price metrics for Macromedia, which had been listed in 1993 on NASDAQ (MACR), then acquired by Adobe in 2005. How could I find its historical price metrics?

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Try going to a local library and looking up and old newspaper (WSJ) on the dates you want the price for - it would be found there if it is listed. Might be other newspapers that used to list too but I'm not sure what they were. – Ross Dec 1 '15 at 21:26
up vote 0 down vote accepted

http://www.euroinvestor.com/exchanges/nasdaq/macromedia-inc/41408/history will work as DumbCoder states, but didn't contain LEHMQ (Lehman Brother's holding company).

You can use Yahoo for companies that have declared bankruptcy, such as Lehman Brothers: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=LEHMQ&a=08&b=01&c=2008&d=08&e=30&f=2008&g=d but you have to know the symbol of the holding company.

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so, no place to search for the symbol of a company that went defunct, e.g. 20 or 30 years ago? – Michael Oct 19 '15 at 21:50
    
@Michael I commented above; you should be able to use a local library (in the US...not sure about other countries) and access the backlog of newspapers. From there you can do research on a listed company via WSJ, etc. – Ross Dec 2 '15 at 13:37
    
What about companies like GM, they declared bankruptcy and then came back with the same ticker? – wizlog Jun 20 at 13:26

Such data is typically only available from paid sources due to the amount of research involved in determining the identity of delisted securities, surviving entities in merger scenarios, company name changes, symbol changes, listing venue changes, research of all capital events such as splits, and to ensure that the data coverage is complete.

Many stocks that are delisted from a major exchange due to financial difficulties are still publicly tradeable companies with their continuing to trade as "OTC" shares. Some large companies even have periods where they traded for a period of their history as OTC. This happened to NYSE:NAV (Navistar) from Feb 2007 to July 2008, where they were delisted due to accounting statement inaccuracies and auditor difficulties.

In the case of Macromedia, it was listed on NASDAQ 13 Dec 1993 and had its final day of trading on 2 Dec 2005. It had one stock split (2:1) with ex-date of 16 Oct 1995 and no dividends were ever paid.

Other companies are harder to find. For example, the bankrupt General Motors (was NYSE:GM) became Motoros Liquidation Corp (OTC:MTLQQ) and traded that way for almost 21 months before finally delisting.

In mergers, there are in two (or more) entities - one surviving entity and one (or more) delisted entity. In demergers/spinoffs there are two (or more) entities - one that continues the capital structure of the original company and the other newly formed spun-off entity. Just using the names of the companies is no indication of its history.

For example, due to monopoly considerations, AT&T were forced to spinoff multiple companies in 1984 and effectively became 75% smaller. One of the companies they spunoff was Southwestern Bell Corporation, which became SBC Communications in 1995. In 2005 SBC took over its former parent company and immediately changed its name to AT&T. So now we have two AT&Ts - one that was delisted in 2005 and another that exists to this day.

Disclosure: I am a co-owner of Norgate Data (Premium Data), a data vendor in this area.

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Can you name any of these paid companies who can provide this data online (Norgate requires an install). – wizlog Jun 22 at 20:11

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