Inconsistent Corporate Announcement data

The data returned from the Alpaca Announcement API is not consistent.

Take the recent LH spinoff of FTRE announced here, where investors received 1 share of FTRE for every LH share held.

Here’s the relevant Corporate Action Announcement response from Alpaca:

    "id": "56c49db4-d142-4a52-b2c7-ac7416c457a2",
    "corporate_action_id": "2612159",
    "ca_type": "spinoff",
    "ca_sub_type": "spinoff",
    "initiating_symbol": "",
    "initiating_original_cusip": "",
    "target_symbol": "LH",
    "target_original_cusip": "50540R102",
    "effective_date": "2023-06-05",
    "ex_date": "2023-07-03",
    "record_date": "2023-06-20",
    "payable_date": "2023-06-30",
    "cash": "0",
    "old_rate": "1",
    "new_rate": "1"

The problems in this response are:

  1. :x: The initiating_symbol should have been LH. Instead, it’s blank
  2. :x: The target_symbol should have been FTRE. Instead, it’s LH.

Could you please clarify why the data is incorrect, and how soon it can be resolved?

@yaz Alpaca receives corporate announcements from ICE and simply reposts them. There often aren’t any hard rules for each field

Here is the data we got from ICE (which matches the corporate action posted by Alpaca
he data in the response is consistent with what was received from ICE:

… ENT:06/12/23:(2023) |DEAL#: 1: TEXT#:2612159: REMARKS:SPIN OFF : IND:9N 1C: EFF:06/05/23:(2023) |TARGET:50540R409: :LABORATORY: INIT:34965K107: :FORTREA HL: EXP:07/03/23:(2023) |CASH: 0.00000: : : PROTECT: : T.AGENT: : INFO: : WDR:06/20/23:(2023) |RATE: 1.00000: :a: : 1.00000:M:DTC: : PRATE: 0.000000: PRO:06/30/23:(2023) |OPT:01: “LABORATORY CORP AMER HLDGS” |COM NEW |DECLARED A SPIN OFF DISTRIBUTION |DECLARATION DATE: :06/05/2023: |EX-DATE: :07/03/2023: |RECORD DATE: :06/20/2023: |PAYABLE DATE: :06/30/2023: |DUE BILL REDEMPTION DATE:07/05/23: |TERMS: FOR EACH LABORATORY CORP AMER HLDGS COM NEW SHARE, HOLDERS |WILL RECEIVE 1 FORTREA HLDGS INC COM: **

You stated

  1. The initiating_symbol should have been LH. Instead, it’s blank

According to the announcement Alpaca received, the corporate action was initiated by FTRE (CUSIP: 34965K107), not LH. I believe the field was blank because the announcement from ICE was received before they provided the updated asset details, so FTRE was missing from our security master.

  1. The target_symbol should have been FTRE. Instead, it’s LH

According to the announcement we received, the target was LH (CUSIP: 50540R409), not FTRE

Like so much market data it’s sometimes ‘gray’.

Thanks for the context, @Dan_Whitnable_Alpaca. However, according to your docs:

target_symbol: Symbol of the child company involved in the announcement.

The child company here is FTRE, since it was spun off from LH – so it should have been set as the target_symbol.

If the data you get from ICE is inconsistent with your documentation, maybe it’s worth adding a disclaimer to that effect, or finding a provider that provides results us developers can rely on to be accurate.