Definition of ‘Penny Stock’
A stock that trades at a relatively low price and market capitalization, usually outside of the major market exchanges. These types of stocks are generally considered to be highly speculative and high risk because of their lack of liquidity, large bid-ask spreads, small capitalization and limited following and disclosure. They will often trade over the counter through the OTCBB and pink sheets.
The term itself is a misnomer because there is no generally accepted definition of a penny stock. Some consider it to be any stock that trades for pennies or those that trade for under $5, while others consider any stock trading off of the major market exchanges as a penny stock. However, confusion can occur as there are some very large companies, based on market capitalization, that trade below $5 per share, while there are many very small companies that trade for $5 or more.
The typical penny stock is a very small company with highly illiquid and speculative shares. The company will also generally be subject to limited listing requirements along with fewer filing and regulatory standards.