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Did Robinhood Investors Buy Tiziana (TLSA) Stock Thinking It’s Tesla?

Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:10 PM
Mark Emem
Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:10 PM
  • The number of Tiziana Life Sciences’ investors on Robinhood increased by almost double Tesla’s number.
  • There’s speculation that the biotech firm’s stock ticker symbol is being confused with Tesla’s.
  • One Tesla share costs over 200 times the price of a Tiziana share.

The stock of biotech firm Tiziana Life Sciences (NASDAQ:TLSA) was the second-most purchased on Robinhood  Friday. In a single day, it added over 13,000 investors.

With Tiziana’s ticker symbol looking very similar to Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA), you could be forgiven for confusing one for the other.

Tiziana, TLSA stock
Tiziana, with the stock ticker symbol TLSA, received nearly double the number of new investors as Tesla (TSLA) on Friday. | Source: Robintrack 

It may be reasonable to conclude that Friday’s surge was mainly attributed to millennial investors piling into TLSA thinking they are buying Tesla. But there could be more to the story.

Tiziana Joins the Rush to Profit from the Pandemic

The massive buying of Tiziana’s stock coincided with the biotech firm submitting a patent application that could potentially see it cash in on the pandemic.

The surge in the number of Tiziana investors came on the same day as a patent submission announcement. | Source: @PrecisionGraeme/Twitter 

Specifically, the patent application covers the use of its immunomodulator known as Foralumab for the treatment of COVID-19 . An immunomodulator is a chemical agent that stimulates antibody response to fight disease. Foralumab is administered via the mouth or nose.

This information caused the stock to surge. On Friday, Tiziana’s stock closed 41.27% higher . At one point, the stock had risen by 145% before paring gains.

Tiziana’s stock surged double digits on Friday. | Source: Yahoo Finance 

Tesla Was Falling as Tiziana Rose.

Tesla, meanwhile, has been on a losing streak for the past few days. On Friday, Tesla closed nearly 4% lower. Since hitting a record high of almost $1,800 earlier in July, the stock has lost about 20% .

If Robinhood investors were buying thinking it was Tesla, there was nothing material they were acting on. At a time when Tesla was declining, the heavy Friday buying certainly wasn’t reflected.

This is not the first time that possible confusion between the ticker symbols is being attributed to large movements for TLSA.

Last month, it was speculated that Tiziana’s stock was rising because of a possible stock ticker symbol mixup  with Tesla’s. Among those who advanced this argument  included Nilesh Shah, who boasts of over 400,000 Twitter followers.

Whoever bought Tiziana thinking it is Tesla must have thought they were getting a bargain. | Source: @NileshShah68/Twitter 

Too Convenient to Blame It on a Stock Ticker Mixup?

The previous rally coincided with Tiziana announcing it had submitted a patent application  covering the use of Foralumab in enhancing the CAR-T therapy for the treatment of cancers and other diseases.

About a week later, the stock fell. The decline was blamed on the fact that the confusion had been cleared up .

Are Robinhood traders so ignorant that they are repeating the same mistake just days later? | Source: @Kyookine/Twitter 

This, too, coincided with Tiziana announcing the exercise of 88,580 warrants , which would have resulted in dilution–a perfectly reasonable reason for investors to sell.

There may be some investors who are buying and selling Tiziana’s stock, thinking it is Tesla. Given that these significant price moves are occurring around material announcements, the confusion is likely limited to just a few. Many are likely acting based on fundamentals.

Plus, the respective prices of the two stocks are worlds apart–TLSA is in the single digits while TSLA is trading at four figures.

Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s opinion and should not be considered investment or trading advice from CCN.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author holds no investment position in the above-mentioned securities.