US regulators have had to change the stock symbol of bankrupt electronics firm Tweeter after some overexcited investors mistook the shares for soon-to-IPO microblogging website Twitter's stocks, sending them surging by 750 per cent.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority assigned Tweeter Home Entertainment Group the new symbol of THEGQ, replacing its previous TWTRQ symbol, which was a bit too close to the TWTR symbol that Twitter wants to use when its stock starts trading on the exchange.
The company was idling along at the teeny stock price of $0.006 last week, before some trigger-happy investors sent it rocketing up to the heady heights of $0.051 on Friday.
More than 14 million deals were done on a stock belonging to a shell firm whose business activities effectively ceased five years ago. The shares have since dropped back to just over a cent each.
"FINRA determined to impose a temporary halt [in the securities of Tweeter] because it believed that trading in the TWTRQ security demonstrated a widespread misunderstanding related to the possible initial public offering of an unrelated security," the regulator said in a notice.
Twitter is able to claim the TWTR symbol because Tweeter had the Q added to its original symbol when it filed for bankruptcy in June 2007, making TWTR available again. ®