Accountant Forums


Reply
Thread Tools

What does a 40 year old AT&T share become??

 
 
Hank Arnold
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-05-2007, 11:49 AM
I recently had to close out a safety deposit box and found a 40 year old
certificate for the original "Ma Bell" (American Telephone & Telegraph"
company.

I can turn it into my financial adviser/broker and let them figure it
out, but I'm curious as to whether I can somehow figure out what that
share has turned into (and what it is worth. We're talking the big
breakup, more breakups, spin-offs, acquisitions, etc.... Also, I don't
recall getting any dividends (at least in memory). What do I do???
--

Regards,
Hank Arnold
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
R. C. White
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-05-2007, 04:14 PM
Hi, Hank.

Congratulations! And condolences.

Just two days ago I answered a related question here (see: Corp.
acquisition recording transactions question.) about AT&T's acquisition of
BellSouth. In the process, I found this web page, which should lead you to
what you need:
http://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=7983

Click the button under Cost Basis Worksheets for AT&T Corp. shares.

Oh, that it were really that simple! Since your certificate predates the
1984 breakup, you probably should start on this page:
http://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=7958

Note the subtle but very significant difference between "AT&T Inc." and
"AT&T Corp." "Corp." was the 100+ year old company that went through the
divestiture in 1984, then survived until 2005. "Inc." is the new name for
the former Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC), which was spun off from
Corp. in 1984, but then bought Corp. in 2005 and changed its own name from
SBC to AT&T Inc. The "Corp." name disappeared in the 2005 transaction - but
that was the company whose share certificate you now hold.

Your problem involves calculating the current basis of the AT&T Inc. shares
represented by that certificate, of course. But you also must determine
what happened to the shares of Ameritech, BellSouth, NYNEX, SBC, etc., that
should have been received in 1984! None of those shares have been sold,
obviously. Your one certificate now represents shares in all those former
subsidiaries. But it gets worse, because each of those companies went
through splits, spin-offs and mergers during the 23 years after 1/1/84. For
example, your certificate represents ownership of some number of shares of
Lucent, NCR, Comcast and many other corporations. The "basis" of each of
those shares relates back to the basis in that original AT&T Corp.
certificate, and the basis of that certificate today must be reduced by each
of the spun-off securities.

If that certificate is for a million shares, you can afford to hire a pro to
do all this. If it is for just one 1966 share, it probably is worth a lot
today, but not enough to pay a pro, so you'll have to do it all yourself.
But the same steps are required for one share as for a million. Maybe the
accumulated dividends (including proceeds from sales of fractional shares)
will make it worthwhile!

The good news is that there were millions of AT&T shareholders, and many of
them were "widows and orphans" who had tucked away their shares and forgot
about them. Old certificates still turn up fairly often, I suspect, and
there probably are pros who make a career of helping people like yourself
who get stuck with the problem. Ask your broker (not the young kid who went
to work there last year, but the grey-haired old guy who has been there
forever and is about to retire). Don't ask him to figure it out; just ask
whom you should contact. I'm sure that AT&T itself has a crew that works
full-time on these problems. That is the crew that works behind that web
page.

If this share is part of the estate of a deceased person, your job may be
cut in half. Inherited shares usually get a new tax basis and holding
period based on their fair market value at the date of death of the owner.
So you don't have to track down the original basis and do all the math to
apportion it to today's holdings. But you do still need to gather up all
the shares and fractional shares that should have been received over the
years and value those at date of death. Then, if the death was not very
recent, you will need to track developments since the death.

Good luck, Hank. And please let us know what you find out!

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(Retired. No longer licensed to practice public accounting.)
(E-Mail Removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Currently running Vista Ultimate x64)

"Hank Arnold" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:yXqnh.366$(E-Mail Removed)...
>I recently had to close out a safety deposit box and found a 40 year old
>certificate for the original "Ma Bell" (American Telephone & Telegraph"
>company.
>
> I can turn it into my financial adviser/broker and let them figure it out,
> but I'm curious as to whether I can somehow figure out what that share has
> turned into (and what it is worth. We're talking the big breakup, more
> breakups, spin-offs, acquisitions, etc.... Also, I don't recall getting
> any dividends (at least in memory). What do I do???
> --
>
> Regards,
> Hank Arnold


 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
DP
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-05-2007, 05:56 PM

"Hank Arnold" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:yXqnh.366$(E-Mail Removed)...
>I recently had to close out a safety deposit box and found a 40 year old
>certificate for the original "Ma Bell" (American Telephone & Telegraph"
>company.
>
> I can turn it into my financial adviser/broker and let them figure it out,
> but I'm curious as to whether I can somehow figure out what that share has
> turned into (and what it is worth. We're talking the big breakup, more
> breakups, spin-offs, acquisitions, etc.... Also, I don't recall getting
> any dividends (at least in memory). What do I do???
> --



Besides R.C. White's excellent response to you, don't forget that the
physical share itself may have some value.
There are people who like to collect that old paper the way people collect
stamps, coins, etc.
I am not a collector, and I know of this only peripherally. But you might
want to do some internet searches on the subject of collecting shares.

I don't know if you will have to physically turn in your share, or if they
can figure out what you own now and somehow cancel the share so that you can
keep it, and ultimately sell it to a collector.

A 40-yr-old share probably isn't that valuable to collectors, but you never
know. I certainly don't.

Meanwhile, I'm guessing that a single share of AT&T from 40 years ago is
probably worth a nice little sum, in terms of all of the other companies it
represents now. Except for Lucent. I got burned buying some of their stock.
Don't get me started.



 
Reply With Quote
 
Andrew
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-05-2007, 11:43 PM
DP wrote:
> .... Except for Lucent. I got burned buying some of their stock. Don't get
> me started.


Depends of course when you bought Lucent! I bought some Lucent in October
2002 at 0.66 share and sold in April of 2006 at 3.06 share. 363% net gain
in less than 4 years. It was my best 'pick' ever!

Now, I also bought Enron at $84/share in September 2000, and never sold!
Became worthless in November 2004. So that was a infinite percentage loss!
(Well, I am now a party in about 5 class action law suits!). My worse pick
ever. "Don't get me started!"

Sorry about this post, I couldn't resist. We all have our stories, don't
we? It's what makes the market so much fun.

---------------------------------------------------------
Regards -

- Andrew


 
Reply With Quote
 
Andrew
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-05-2007, 11:48 PM
Andrew wrote:
> So that was a infinite percentage loss!


Maybe that's 100% loss - lost my head!
--
-------------------------------------------------------------
Regards -

- Andrew


 
Reply With Quote
 
Oilcan
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-06-2007, 02:47 AM
Don't forgot unclaimed funds - dividends. These monies were escheated
(turned over) to the state of the last known residence (usually based
on the mailing address on record).

This is somewhat a history as I know it....(it could be wrong).......

NYNEX (New York New England Exchange), Ameritech (Midwest), BellSouth,
Pacific Telesis (California and Nevada), USWest (mostly rural US),
Southwestern Bell (SBC) (Texas, OK and KS?), Bell Atlantic, plus AT&T
(1984) = 1984 Breakup

NYNEX and Bell Alantic merged in 1997 as did SBC and Pacific Bell

Ameritech became part of SBC along the line.
Pacific Telesis spun off Pacific Wireless which merged with VidoPhone
(spelling)
AT&T (1984) spun off NCR, Lucent Technologies (former Bell Labs)
Lucent Technologies spun off Agere Systems (mostly worthless stocks
today although they have market value)
Lucent Technolgoies has recently merged with another company (French)
Bell Atlantic, I believe is now Verizon.
US West, I believe is now Qwest.

I would make the assumption since the existing AT&T is the suvivor of
AT&T (1984), you could start with their shareholder services as they
should have the Corporate records......

Andrew wrote:
> Andrew wrote:
> > So that was a infinite percentage loss!

>
> Maybe that's 100% loss - lost my head!
> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------
> Regards -
>
> - Andrew


 
Reply With Quote
 
Hank Arnold
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-06-2007, 08:44 AM
Excellent input, RC.... Thanks for taking the time. The certificate is
in my name (Care of my aunt) with my aunt's address. Since she's been
dead fro almost 7 years and hadn't lived at that address fro over 25
years, I haven't a clue what happened to all the dividends....

I know what has expired in the time since the breakup. My mother in law
gave my son a bunch of AT&T Corp socks and I've tracked them for the
past 20+ years. We started with 1 stock, got around 10 and now have, I
think, 3 (at&t, Verizon, Agere and the Idearc)... it's been a wild ride.....

I'll be sure to let you all know what happens.....

Regards,
Hank Arnold

R. C. White wrote:
> Hi, Hank.
>
> Congratulations! And condolences.
>
> Just two days ago I answered a related question here (see: Corp.
> acquisition recording transactions question.) about AT&T's acquisition
> of BellSouth. In the process, I found this web page, which should lead
> you to what you need:
> http://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=7983
>
> Click the button under Cost Basis Worksheets for AT&T Corp. shares.
>
> Oh, that it were really that simple! Since your certificate predates
> the 1984 breakup, you probably should start on this page:
> http://www.att.com/gen/investor-relations?pid=7958
>
> Note the subtle but very significant difference between "AT&T Inc." and
> "AT&T Corp." "Corp." was the 100+ year old company that went through
> the divestiture in 1984, then survived until 2005. "Inc." is the new
> name for the former Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC), which was spun
> off from Corp. in 1984, but then bought Corp. in 2005 and changed its
> own name from SBC to AT&T Inc. The "Corp." name disappeared in the 2005
> transaction - but that was the company whose share certificate you now
> hold.
>
> Your problem involves calculating the current basis of the AT&T Inc.
> shares represented by that certificate, of course. But you also must
> determine what happened to the shares of Ameritech, BellSouth, NYNEX,
> SBC, etc., that should have been received in 1984! None of those shares
> have been sold, obviously. Your one certificate now represents shares
> in all those former subsidiaries. But it gets worse, because each of
> those companies went through splits, spin-offs and mergers during the 23
> years after 1/1/84. For example, your certificate represents ownership
> of some number of shares of Lucent, NCR, Comcast and many other
> corporations. The "basis" of each of those shares relates back to the
> basis in that original AT&T Corp. certificate, and the basis of that
> certificate today must be reduced by each of the spun-off securities.
>
> If that certificate is for a million shares, you can afford to hire a
> pro to do all this. If it is for just one 1966 share, it probably is
> worth a lot today, but not enough to pay a pro, so you'll have to do it
> all yourself. But the same steps are required for one share as for a
> million. Maybe the accumulated dividends (including proceeds from sales
> of fractional shares) will make it worthwhile!
>
> The good news is that there were millions of AT&T shareholders, and many
> of them were "widows and orphans" who had tucked away their shares and
> forgot about them. Old certificates still turn up fairly often, I
> suspect, and there probably are pros who make a career of helping people
> like yourself who get stuck with the problem. Ask your broker (not the
> young kid who went to work there last year, but the grey-haired old guy
> who has been there forever and is about to retire). Don't ask him to
> figure it out; just ask whom you should contact. I'm sure that AT&T
> itself has a crew that works full-time on these problems. That is the
> crew that works behind that web page.
>
> If this share is part of the estate of a deceased person, your job may
> be cut in half. Inherited shares usually get a new tax basis and
> holding period based on their fair market value at the date of death of
> the owner. So you don't have to track down the original basis and do all
> the math to apportion it to today's holdings. But you do still need to
> gather up all the shares and fractional shares that should have been
> received over the years and value those at date of death. Then, if the
> death was not very recent, you will need to track developments since the
> death.
>
> Good luck, Hank. And please let us know what you find out!
>
> RC

 
Reply With Quote
 
Hank Arnold
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-06-2007, 08:48 AM
Interesting.....

I know about growth... the same aunt gave ma a share of GE stock when I
graduated from High School (1964). I completely forgot about it. When I
found it later, I was able to get with GE and found that the dividend
checks had been cashed for years by someone forging my signature. I was
in Vietnam at the time and never followed up with them other than to
tell them about it and to change the address of record. I started to
DRIP it about 15 years ago and that one share (worth about $90 bucks
originally) is now worth over $4.5K....

It's gonna be interesting....

Regards,
Hank Arnold

DP wrote:
> "Hank Arnold" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:yXqnh.366$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> I recently had to close out a safety deposit box and found a 40 year old
>> certificate for the original "Ma Bell" (American Telephone & Telegraph"
>> company.
>>
>> I can turn it into my financial adviser/broker and let them figure it out,
>> but I'm curious as to whether I can somehow figure out what that share has
>> turned into (and what it is worth. We're talking the big breakup, more
>> breakups, spin-offs, acquisitions, etc.... Also, I don't recall getting
>> any dividends (at least in memory). What do I do???
>> --

>
>
> Besides R.C. White's excellent response to you, don't forget that the
> physical share itself may have some value.
> There are people who like to collect that old paper the way people collect
> stamps, coins, etc.
> I am not a collector, and I know of this only peripherally. But you might
> want to do some internet searches on the subject of collecting shares.
>
> I don't know if you will have to physically turn in your share, or if they
> can figure out what you own now and somehow cancel the share so that you can
> keep it, and ultimately sell it to a collector.
>
> A 40-yr-old share probably isn't that valuable to collectors, but you never
> know. I certainly don't.
>
> Meanwhile, I'm guessing that a single share of AT&T from 40 years ago is
> probably worth a nice little sum, in terms of all of the other companies it
> represents now. Except for Lucent. I got burned buying some of their stock.
> Don't get me started.
>
>
>

 
Reply With Quote
 
DP
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-06-2007, 04:15 PM

"Oilcan" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...


> Lucent Technolgoies has recently merged with another company (French)


Alcatel.

> Bell Atlantic, I believe is now Verizon.
> US West, I believe is now Qwest.


And don't forget that BellSouth and ATT (the surviving smaller company from
the breakup) just merged.


 
Reply With Quote
 
Jim - NN7K
Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanked:
 
      01-07-2007, 12:19 AM
As far as you got -- Lucent, now is part of
Alcatel ("ALU"- NYSE), and also to confuse
matters, SBC recently aquired AT&T (and then
changed its Name, to ATT & it's symbol, to "T")!
(Translation: THE company that
spun off those bells, Was AQUIRED by one of it's
spinoff's!) Also, if memory serves, U.S. WEST
spun off (think Media 1 (CABLE TV), which was
in turn absorbed by Frontier , which , in turn
became part of the Global Crossing Fiasco)!
confuseing, isn't it ??? Jim



Oilcan wrote:
> Don't forgot unclaimed funds - dividends. These monies were escheated
> (turned over) to the state of the last known residence (usually based
> on the mailing address on record).
>
> This is somewhat a history as I know it....(it could be wrong).......
>
> NYNEX (New York New England Exchange), Ameritech (Midwest), BellSouth,
> Pacific Telesis (California and Nevada), USWest (mostly rural US),
> Southwestern Bell (SBC) (Texas, OK and KS?), Bell Atlantic, plus AT&T
> (1984) = 1984 Breakup
>
> NYNEX and Bell Alantic merged in 1997 as did SBC and Pacific Bell
>
> Ameritech became part of SBC along the line.
> Pacific Telesis spun off Pacific Wireless which merged with VidoPhone
> (spelling)
> AT&T (1984) spun off NCR, Lucent Technologies (former Bell Labs)
> Lucent Technologies spun off Agere Systems (mostly worthless stocks
> today although they have market value)
> Lucent Technolgoies has recently merged with another company (French)
> Bell Atlantic, I believe is now Verizon.
> US West, I believe is now Qwest.
>
> I would make the assumption since the existing AT&T is the suvivor of
> AT&T (1984), you could start with their shareholder services as they
> should have the Corporate records......
>
> Andrew wrote:
>> Andrew wrote:
>>> So that was a infinite percentage loss!

>> Maybe that's 100% loss - lost my head!
>> --
>> -------------------------------------------------------------
>> Regards -
>>
>> - Andrew

>

 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What year is a RE transaction reported in? Lagrangian Mechanic Tax 2 04-06-2013 01:08 PM
What does social services do about a 13 year old with a baby? 32andtwentyseven UK Tax Credits and Benefits 9 09-20-2007 11:19 AM
How do I remove old, old, old stock prices from investment summary on page 1?? Lewis Microsoft Money 3 09-15-2004 12:58 PM
Old share certificates SJF UK Finance 5 08-10-2004 01:44 PM
B share to A share exchange Kevin Microsoft Money 10 04-10-2004 12:00 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:25 PM.
Posts in this forum do not constitute the advice of AccountantForums.com or its members. Financial advice should always be taken from qualified advisors before committing to a financial decision.