Facebook changes its name to Meta, and shares soar - but for a Canadian meme stock, not Zuckerberg's rebrand
- Shares in Canada-based
MetaMaterials spiked Thursday after
- The Nova Scotia-based firm appears to be a meme stock with heavy short interest.
The tech giant said Thursday it was changing its corporate name to Meta, bringing its brands under that corporate umbrella as it pivots to being "metaverse first."
Following that, Meta Materials saw its Nasdaq-listed shares jump as much as 30% in after-hours trading. The company manufactures things like materials for "transparently blocking a specific color of light, or invisibly heating a window in a car."
Its stock, which carries the ticker $MMAT, was last up 4.6% in regular trading Friday at $4.70 per share. Meanwhile, Facebook (now Meta) shares were 2% higher at $324 each. Its ticker symbol will change from $FB to $MVRS, but not until December 1.
With the rally, Meta Materials holds a market cap of about $1.2 billion. That represents just a fraction of the $890 billion value for the social media giant.
Meta Materials CEO George Palikaras posted a warm tweet to Facebook on Thursday, welcoming it to the virtual universe.
It isn't clear whether confusion over ticker symbols or a coordinated push by meme stock investors spurred Meta Materials' rally.
"Is the (after-hours) price action real, or are people buying MMAT thinking they are getting Facebook for really cheap?" one Redditor asked.
The Nova Scotia-based company has actually been noted for its potential as a meme play with heavy short interest. Meta Materials is up 225% so far this year, while Facebook has risen 16%.
Most redditors on the subreddit r/MMAT dismissed the idea that confusion with Facebook's rebrand is behind the surge. Some suggested the price started soaring after Palikaras' tweet, not Facebook's announcement.
Facebook's rebranding follows a rocky few weeks for the company. A whistleblower leaked internal documents exposing its controversial practices, including knowing that Instagram is bad for teen mental health.
Cybersecurity expert James Bore said Facebook's rebrand is an attempt to detach from its damaged reputation.
"This is a pretty cynical move to get away from what has been quietly known for years, and is becoming more and more public - that Facebook has prioritized profits over individual and societal health, actively worked to spread mis- and dis-information, assisted the weakening of democracy and been part of a push towards a polarised society," Bore said. "And it's done all of this with senior management being fully aware of the impact it has had."
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