By Alexei Oreskovic
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter and Tweeter have similar-sounding names, but investors will no longer be in danger of confusing the two companies.
On Tuesday, bankrupt consumer electronics company Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, began trading under a new stock symbol intended to prevent investors from mistaking it for Twitter Inc, the Internet company whose forthcoming IPO is one of Wall Street's most highly-anticipated offerings.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority assigned Tweeter the new symbol THEGQ, replacing its previous TWTRQ symbol, which was deemed too similar to the TWTR symbol that Twitter hopes to use when it floats shares to the public.
Shares of Tweeter, a penny stock, surged more than 1,000 percent last Friday when excitement about Twitter's impending IPO caused confused investors to snap up the wrong company's shares. Twitter, a social media company with more than 200 million users, is expected to raise about $1 billion in its IPO.
"FINRA believed that trading in the TWTRQ security demonstrated a widespread misunderstanding related to the possible initial public offering of an unrelated security," said a notice released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Monday.
Tweeter once traded under the TWTR symbol, but the letter Q was appended to its stock symbol after it filed for bankruptcy, leaving the TWTR symbol unclaimed.
Tweeter filed for bankruptcy in June of 2007 and its assets were acquired by Schultze Asset Management on July 13, 2007, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A representative for Schultze was not immediately available for comment.
Tweeter's stock, which trades over the counter, closed Thursday at a price of less than a penny a share, and hit a high of 15 cents a share on Friday. More than 14.3 million shares had traded by midday.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; editing by Clive McKeef)