Stock Option Symbols

In the world of financial markets most people are aware of stock symbols, the short codes that are used to identify a company. These codes, called symbols or tickers usually reflect the name of the company, for example the symbol for Apple is APPL and the symbol for Microsoft is MSFT.

These symbols represent the tradeable stock or equity in the company.

Other financial instruments have other types of identifiers, for example stock options, which we will discuss in this article.

Stock Option symbols follow a standardised format; for example in the first column below, you can see symbols for 4 different Tesla stock options from the Yahoo Finance website:

Tesla option symbols

The symbol consists of 4 parts:

Component parts of an option symbol

These parts are:

  • Stock symbol, eg. TSLA
  • Expiry Date, eg 3 December 2021, which is written as 211203 (year then month then day)
  • Option type: P (Put) or C (Call)
  • Strike Price: eg 1095

The Excel Price Feed Add-in includes a simple Excel formula EPF.OptionTicker which is used to construct an option symbol from its component parts. This is very useful when you wish to analyse lots of options in Excel without having to manually create lots of option symbols.

For example, here is the formula being used to construct the symbol for the option above:

=EPF.OptionTicker("TSLA","Call","3 Dec 2021",1095)

We can see below the formula in action in Excel.

Excel Price Feed Option Ticker formula

The real power of the forumla, however, is realised when you want to analyse multiple options, which you can combine with the EPF.Yahoo.OptionsChain.ExpiryDates formula (column C below).

Here we are looking at Apple put options with a strike of 160.

We have used the symbol formula in column D and then used the Price/Volume/Open interest formulas for columns E,F,G. This provides a nice visualization of option volume and open interest for a specific strike:

Apple stock options calls at same strike price.

Check out Excel Price Feed today to see how it can help you with your stock option trading.