Mistaken Identity Sends Snap Sound-Alike Up 140% After IPO News

  • SNAP Interactive rallied after Snap Inc. filed for listing
  • There’s a history of stocks swinging based on confusion

Oh, Snap (Interactive).

In what is almost surely a case of mistaken identity, investors sent shares in a little known startup called SNAP Interactive Inc., ticker STVI, surging 164 percent in the four days since Snap Inc. filed for a $3 billion initial public offering. The $69 million SNAP Interactive makes mobile dating apps, while the IPO aspirant is the parent of the popular Snapchat photo-sharing app.

Volume in New York-based SNAP Interactive starting rising in late January amid reports that Snap’s IPO filing was imminent. The microcap’s shares took off when Venice, California-based Snap made it official on Feb. 2, and they’ve rallied four of the five trading sessions since. More than 10,000 shares of the company traded on Wednesday, almost 10 times the average daily volume in January.

Bizarre activity in little-known stocks with names or tickers that are similar to more famous companies isn’t that uncommon in equity markets.

Tweeter Home Entertainment Group Inc., a once-bankrupt retailer, surged 685 percent in 2013, after Twitter Inc. filed for its IPO. Oculus VisionTech Inc. rallied as much as 155 percent after Facebook Inc. announced plans to buy Oculus VR Inc. And the day after the U.S. election, a Chinese stock that sounds like “Trump Wins Big” to Mandarin speakers posted its biggest rally in five months, while another that sounds like “Aunt Hillary” sold off.

A phone call and e-mail to SNAP Interactive’s investor relations line was not immediately returned. Apart from the integration of a feature into one of the firm’s apps, which range from webcam chatting services to a dating app that lets users rank each other, there is little news from the company this year.

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