Meta shares jump on name-change news — but it’s a Canadian materials company, not Facebook

October 29, 2021
Meta shares jump on name-change news — but it's a Canadian materials company, not Facebook

Facebook may have unveiled its new identity at a glitzy event on Thursday, but shares of a lesser-known Canadian industrial materials company surged in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

As Facebook metamorphosed into Meta, shares of Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Meta Materials Inc. jumped six per cent in opening trades on the Nasdaq on Friday, following a 26 per cent rise in after-hours trading. 

Meta Materials’ stock has already been a favourite among retail investors using Reddit and social media, recording wild swings in recent months. It hit an all-time high of nearly $22 US in June.

The company, which specializes in designing materials used in a variety of industries, including consumer electronics and aerospace, has a market value of $1.3 billion US.

This is not the first instance of shares reacting because of mistaken identities. Zoom Technologies, which makes electronic-communication products for mobile phones, jumped at the height of the pandemic when the world flocked to the similarly named video conferencing service.

In December 2020, food delivery service DoorDash went public in an IPO. But shares in a Florida door-making company with the ticker symbol of DOOR spiked, in another case of mistaken identity.

Meta Materials CEO George Palikaras appeared to get in on the fun on Thursday, tweeting, “On behalf of @Metamaterialtec I would like to cordially welcome @Facebook to the #metaverse.”

Palikaras pointed to a company announcement from Thursday about an upcoming online talk featuring executives from Meta Materials, Facebook’s virtual reality (VR) division and other companies, when Reuters emailed Meta Materials for comment.

Facebook’s name change was revealed at its virtual and augmented reality conference on Thursday.

Social media was abuzz with news of Facebook becoming Meta, with posts poking fun at the move receiving the most attention.

“Changing name to Meat,” burger chain Wendy’s said in a tweet liked by nearly 250,000 users.

Twitter’s official handle wrote, “BIG NEWS lol jk still Twitter,” garnering some 226,000 likes.

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