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Tweeter isn’t Twitter, but people are throwing money at it

Excitement for Twitter's coming IPO is running pretty high - so much so that some investors on Friday mistook the nearly worthless stock of long-dead electronics retailer Tweeter for the "tweeting" site, sending shares up more than 1,000 percent.

Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, a specialty consumer electronics company that went bankrupt in 2007, saw its most active day of trading in more than six years even though it has nothing to do with the social media site.

A Tweeter electronics store in Manassas, Va, in 2008.
Paul J. Richards | AFP | Getty Images
A Tweeter electronics store in Manassas, Va, in 2008.

The stock, which trades over the counter under the ticker TWTRQ, closed Thursday at a price of less than a penny a share, and Friday hit a high of 15 cents a share on Friday, before paring gains to trade at 5 cents, a 669 percent rise.

Trading in the stock was halted by FINRA at 12:42 pm ET after 14.36 million shares had traded.

Twitter has chosen TWTR as a stock symbol, but its shares are not yet trading publicly.

The volume for Tweeter was the most active trading day for the company since May 10, 2007, when 13.05 million shares were traded and the company reported quarterly results and said it may choose to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

(Related: Skip #rich, few billionaires minted in Twitter IPO)

To say the stock is lightly traded in normal times is an understatement, sometimes going several days without even trading 1,000 shares over the course of a full session.

However, in the last two weeks Tweeter shares' price and volume ticked higher following Twitter's announcement on September 12 that it had confidentially filed for an initial public offering.

The moves on those days were not nearly as extreme, with the stock reaching a high of 3.5 cents, and seeing volume between 200,000 and 1.1 million shares, depending on the day.

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 Asset was not immediately available for comment.

Twitter Inc publicly filed its IPO documents on Thursday, setting the stage for one of the most-anticipated debuts in over a year.

- By Reuters with contributions by CNBC.com


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