Mike Isaac

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From TWTR to THEG — Penny Stock Changes Ticker After Twitter Confusion


Sometimes, stories that seem too funny to be true are, in fact, true.

I’m speaking of last week’s confusion with Tweeter Home Entertainment Group’s stock listing.

After Twitter announced in its S-1 filing last week that it would trade under the symbol TWTR, Tweeter’s stock — which is listed as TWTRQ — shot up more than 2,000 percent. (A “Q” affixed to the end usually signifies that the company is in bankruptcy proceedings.)

Confused buyers went so crazy over Tweeter’s stock that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority had to step in and place a temporary halt on the shares.

FINRA wants to clear up the confusion. Effective as of Tuesday morning, Tweeter’s new ticker symbol will change to THEGQ, FINRA decided, in order to avoid any “further confusion,” according to a filing on the FINRA website.

“FINRA believed that trading in the TWTRQ security demonstrated a widespread misunderstanding related to the possible initial public offering of an unrelated security,” the agency wrote.

Probably a good idea, considering the hype for Twitter’s forthcoming initial public offering. The company — which has yet to state an exchange or a listing date — is seeing high-enough interest that financial analyst Robert Peck, with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, has rated the stock a “buy,” with a price target of $50 by the end of next year.

As for Tweeter? Shares were trading at $0.0121 on Tuesday morning, down 76 percent from the previous day’s close.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work