Q: Do my old stock certificates have any value? I recently found some old stock certificates from the 1930’s Associated Gas and Electric Company.
Are they worth anything?
A: A quick Google search came up with some background information on your company. This is from the division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library:
“The Associated Gas and Electric Company (AGEC) was a utility holding company which went bankrupt in the 1930s. It was reorganized under the supervision of the courts and was broken down into smaller companies by government order. The company originated as the Ithaca Gas Light Company of Ithaca, N.Y. in 1852. Soon after 1900, its owners began securing control of surrounding properties and the company was incorporated in 1906. There were fourteen subsidiary companies, all but two of which were located in New York; the largest and most important were the Ithaca Gas Light Company and the Homer and Cortland Gas Light Company. Through mergers among its operating companies, the numbers were reduced to four – the Homer and Cortland Gas Light Company, the Ithaca Gas Light Company, the Ithaca Electric Light and Power Company, and the Norwich Gas and Electric Company. These companies were consolidated in 1916 under the name of the New York State Electric and Gas Corporation. ”
Because the company went bankrupt in the 1930s, it’s likely that your shares are worthless. However, an old stock or bond certificate may still have some value to collectors. It’s even possible that some value was still attached to your shares.
Here are a few resources from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website. The SEC cannot recommend or endorse any of these entities, their personnel, or their products or services. In addition, I have included some other places you might want to look for more information about the company.
The company is named after the hobby of collecting old stock and bond certificates. For a fee, Scripophily.com researches whether your stock or bond certificate has any value. The company also is a large buyer and seller of collectable certificates, with a list and images of more than 4,500 different companies.
Financial Stock Guide Service.
Published by Financial Information, Inc. since 1927, this comprehensive guide is a good starting point for all research on old stock certificates. This listing, updated annually, contains a directory of actively traded stocks and obsolete securities. You can have the Custom Research department of Financial Information research your certificate by calling (800) 367-3441.
Robert D. Fisher Manual of Valuable & Worthless Securities.
Published by R.M. Smythe & Co., Inc., this is a multi-volume resource that is particularly helpful guide if you are trying to trace the value of very old stock certificates. www.smytheonline.com will research your certificate for a fee
Moody’s Industrial Manual and Moody’s OTC Industrial Manual
Published by Mergent Company, these manuals give brief summaries of companies’ histories, backgrounds, mergers and acquisitions, subsidiaries, principal plants,
and properties. This guide is updated annually. You can learn how to obtain a
subscription to the manuals by going online or calling (800) 342-5647.
National Stock Summary. Published by the Pink Sheets LLC, this
monthly publication summarizes all over-the-counter and inactive listed stock
offerings. It also includes the recent prices of such securities, as they have
appeared either in the national daily quotation services or in the leading daily
newspapers and financial periodicals. The Pink Sheets will research your certificate
for a fee
“Financial Stock Guide Service” (1927). Published by Financial
Information, Inc., 30 Montgomery Street, PO Box 473, Jersey City, NJ 07303. Contains
-a directory of active stocks (addressing currently traded, actives issues), and
-a directory of obsolete securities (providing a brief profile of companies whose
original identities have been lost through actions affecting their outstanding
stock) updated annually and through monthly supplements
“Robert D. Fisher Manual of Valuable & Worthless Securities” (1920).
Published by R.M. Smythe & Co., Inc., 2 Rector Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY
100006, 1-800-622-1880 or 212-943-1880. Volumes 5 through 15 list companies whose securities may have a liquidating or exchange value, or may be identified as worthless. This reference superseded the “Marvyn Scudder Manual of Extinct or Obsolete Companies”, which was published by Marvyn Scudder in four volumes, and included stocks issued from 1926 to 1937.
Moody’s Industrial Manual” and “Moody’s OTC Industrial Manual” (1970).
Published by Moody’s Investor Service, Inc., 99 Church Street, New York, NY 10007.
Summarize companies’ histories, background, mergers and acquisitions, subsidiaries, principal plants, and properties. Updated annually.
“National Stock Summary” (1913). Published by National Quotation
Bureau, Inc., an Infobase Holdings Company, 150 Commerce Road, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009-1208. Summarizes all over-the-counter and inactive listed stock offerings and bids that have appeared either in the national daily quotation services or the leading daily newspapers and financial periodicals. Published monthly.
“Security Owner’s Stock Guide” (1941). Published by Standard and Poor’s Corp., 25 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Provides information on stock group movements, weekly stock price indexes, and statistical tables for common
and preferred stock. Published monthly.
Old Company Research
Old Company Research, an affiliate of Scripophily.com LLC, The Gift of History, which provides collectible stock and bond certificates and other old paper items, will research information on old stocks and companies. They may be reached at: P.O. Box 223795, Chantilly, Virginia 20153; Phone 1-888-STOCKS6 (1.888.786.2576) toll-free.
Another research site is oldstockresearch.com
Stock Research, which has been in business since 1981 finding the
cash values of old bonds and stock certificates. Old Stock Research is a subsidiary of America West Archives, Stock Research Services, P.O. Box 100, Cedar City, Utah 84721; (435) 586-9497.
A company called Paperchase International can also research the value of an old stock certificate for you. You may contact them via this link, or by phone at (514) 482-3609.
There is a New York firm, R. M. Smythe & Co. 1-800-622-1880
or 212-943-1880, which will trace the value of old stock certificates. For a fee,
the company will investigate the market or collectible value of your certificate.
Additionally, there is a firm, Stock Search International, Inc., 4761 West Waterbuck DR, Tucson, AZ 85742, 1-800-537-4523, which will also research the value of old stock certificates for a fee.
Thanks for writing. Good luck.