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Mistaken Identity: Funny Story About Mixed Up Ticker Symbols
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This has been mentioned elsewhere before but Marketwatch had an article today about mistaken ticker symbols and "hot" stocks. Rolleyes The article is here but I'll copy it below in case it disappears. Thought it would add a little humor. The emphasis is my own doing.

Quote:A case of mistaken identity sends another Oculus soaring

Investors jumped on the news that Facebook Inc. is buying Oculus VR Inc. Problem is, they jumped to the wrong Oculus.

Oculus VR makes virtual-reality glasses. Its virtual-reality headset is called Oculus Rift. Facebook announced late Tuesday that it would buy the whole shebang for $2 billion.

Oculus VisionTech Inc., OVTZ despite the similar nomenclature, is unrelated. It is involved with watermarking digital media, like videos, to protect against piracy. But a lot of people, apparently, didn’t know that, because its stock more than doubled on Wednesday morning.

By late morning, the company issued a press release saying, basically, that it was not the Oculus that people thought it was, and the stock went back to normal. (We should note that Oculus VisionTech is trading at way less than a dollar, so when we say the stock price “more than doubled,” all it did was go up to 41 cents.)

Oculus Innovative Sciences Inc. was up 6% at mid-day, rising 27 cents to $4.81, after five straight days of losses. It sells medical products like itch-relief hydrogel. A company spokesman said that mistaken identity might play a part, but he also noted that a subsidiary, a biopharma company called Ruthigen Inc. just went public on Friday.

To be sure, there are ample opportunities for a careless trader to get discombobulated. HP is not the ticker symbol for the printer giant that goes by that moniker, Hewlett-Packard Co., but for a Tulsa energy company called Helmerich & Payne Inc. And don’t get us started on Sysco (the food company) v. Cisco (the tech company).

Sometimes the befuddlement is painfully obvious, and Oculus v. Oculus v. Oculus is not the only example. For example, Google Inc. agreed to buy Nest Labs, a company that makes home products like energy-efficient thermostats, in January. Nestor Inc., a basically-defunct company that sold traffic enforcement equipment, soared. And when Twitter Inc. announced it would go public last year, the stock for an old stereo retailer called Tweeter Home Entertainment Group was set all atwitter.

–Christina Rexrode

I own HP but not HPQ and Yahoo Finance continually gives me links to to the tech giant when I'm really looking for news about the oil patch innovator. Dodgy Drives me up the wall sometimes.
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