Errant News Release Drives Stock Up

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(AP) A small technology firm’s stock price almost doubled in less than an hour after a press release wrongly said the company would be featured in Barron’s business journal.

The release — never authorized by executives at Nuwave Technologies of Fairfield — referred to what was actually a paid advertisement announcing that the company had won a patent.

“It was a miscommunication, and the release was sent out in error,” Curtis Hougland, a principal at Middleberg Euro, told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Tuesday’s editions. “It is something we all regret.”

After Middleberg Euro sent the release Friday, investors quickly began snapping up shares of the company, which trades on the Nasdaq, and the company’s value grew from $14.1 million to $26.5 million in 40 minutes.

Both companies spent most of the afternoon trying to retract the story about the “story.” Nuwave sent out a notice that the release was incorrect about an hour and 10 minutes later, and a corrective notice was sent to Business Wire, which disseminates company news.

That statement appeared on the wire about three hours after the original release. By day’s end, more than 3.9 million shares of the company had changed hands — 31 times the normal volume.

The stock closed Friday at $1.43, up 13 cents, but fell Monday to $1.22 and was down to $1.18 Tuesday morning.

Nasdaq spokesman Wayne Lee declined comment Tuesday, saying dealings between the stock exchange and its companies are confidential. John Heine, spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission, also declined comment.

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