Dont be surprised if you see a lot, and we mean a lot, of news about Red Hat in business publications on Dec. 12, when Red Hat moves from the Nasdaq to the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange).
While Linux users may not notice one whit of difference, its a major change for the company. Red Hat launched its IPO (initial public offerings) on the Nasdaq on Aug. 11, 1999. On that date, the fledging Linux companys stock famously more than tripled in value.
Red Hat isnt, of course, expecting anything like that from a simple move from one exchange to another, but it does expect to do better for itself and its stockholders on the NYSE.
Dion Cornett, Red Hats vice president of investor relations, explained in a Linux-Watch interview that Red Hat was making the move for two major reasons.
The first is that NYSE stocks tend to have less volatility than stocks on the Nasdaq or other exchanges. For those of you who dont follow stocks, this means that a stocks price doesnt tend to jump up or down quite so quickly.
This will benefit Red Hat and its owners not simply by helping them sleep at night, but by making it easier for the company to properly expense and execute stock options for employees. Companies, after a storm of recent stock option scandals, in general are being far more careful and precise with their option accounting.