Talk about mixed signals!
An obscure medical device company’s stock price surged more than 400 percent after Elon Musk endorsed a messaging app with the same name — only to crash Tuesday as the confusion was cleared up.
The bizarre rally started after the billionaire Tesla chief told his 42 million Twitter followers to “Use Signal” on Thursday, apparently referring to the mobile app that lets users exchange encrypted messages.
But investors instead bought up shares of Signal Advance Inc., a small, Texas-based outfit that makes devices used to detect various health problems.
The company’s stock, traded over the counter under the ticker symbol SIGL, spiked to $3.76 on the day of Musk’s tweet from 60 cents the day before. The shares nearly doubled to $7.19 on Friday and then skyrocketed 438 percent to $38.70 on Monday despite news reports about the apparent ticker confusion.
But the stock plummeted as much as 67 percent to $12.75 on Tuesday after Signal Advance issued a press release clarifying that it’s not associated with the Signal messaging platform. The company’s shares were recently down about 68 percent at $16.14 as of 1:08 p.m.
“The entities have no relationship to each other and Mr. Musk is not, to the best of our knowledge, a shareholder of SIGL,” Signal Advance CEO Chris Hymel said in a Monday statement. He also offered congratulations to the other Signal’s developers for their success.
Investors looking to buy stock in the Signal app are out of luck — it’s owned by the Signal Foundation, a roughly three-year-old nonprofit.
Some 810,000 users around the world installed Signal on Sunday, nearly 18 times the number seen on Jan. 6, the day of WhatsApp’s privacy change, data from research firm AppTopia show.
Signal warned investors that it “has absolutely nothing to do” with Signal Advance’s stock as the latter firm’s share price exploded.
“It’s understandable that people want to invest in Signal’s record growth, but this isn’t us,” the app said on Twitter. “We’re an independent 501c3 and our only investment is in your privacy.”
With Post wires
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