Uh…Did Elon Just Pump & Dump a Penny Stock?

“We strongly recommend people do their due diligence and always invest with care,” the company’s chief executive officer, Dr Chris Hymel, said when reached by phone on Monday. Signal Advance doesn’t have an association with Musk or the Signal app, he said.

A rather mysterious medical device company’s stock price skyrocketed more than 400% after Elon ‘PT Barnum’ Musk backed a messaging app with the same name — only to flounder Tuesday as the confusion was cleared up.

The puzzling run-up started after the billionaire Tesla CEO took to his 42 million Twitter followers to “Use Signal” on Thursday, evidently referring to the mobile app that lets users trade encrypted messages with each other. But investors instead bought up shares of Signal Advance, a boutique, Texas-based outfit that makes devices used to detect a multitude of health problems. Tesla Levitates Passed Facebook in Market Cap

The company’s stock, traded over the counter under the ticker symbol $SIGL, jumped to $3.76 on the day of Musk’s tweet from a mere 60 cents the day before. Shares nearly doubled to $7.19 on Friday and then went on to soar 438% to $38.70 on Monday in the face of news reports on ticker confusion.

The other Signal is a closely held not-for-profit organization with a messaging service that’s similar to Facebook’s WhatsApp.

Alas, the stock puked as much as 67% to $12.75 on Tuesday as Signal Advance divulged a press release illuminating that it’s not affiliated with the Signal messaging platform. The company’s shares were recently down about 68% at $16.14 in afternoon trading. Musk’s Net Worth Eclipses $100B This Year

“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 stated. He also offered congratulations to the other Signal’s developers for their success. Investors looking to buy stock in the Signal app are S.O.L., as it’s owned by the Signal Foundation, a roughly three-year-old nonprofit.

The app has seen a boom of its own in recent days since competitor WhatsApp issued an update to its privacy policy that enables it to share user data with parent company Facebook. Around 810,000 users around the world installed Signal on Sunday, nearly 18 times the number seen on January 6, the day of WhatsApp’s privacy change, data from research firm AppTopia show. 

Signal cautioned 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.”


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