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A briefing for investors

Way Wrong Ticker

July 23, 1998|Bloomberg News, Times Staff

Shares of Cityscape Financial Corp., a lender that plans to file for bankruptcy protection, have soared in recent days after some investors apparently mistook the company for CitySearch Inc., an Internet services company that plans to use Cityscape's stock ticker.

Pasadena-based CitySearch, which plans to make its initial public stock offering in the near future, has designated CTYS as the symbol for its shares once they start trading on the Nasdaq National Market.

That's the same ticker symbol that Cityscape used until January, when it was kicked off the Nasdaq National Market and forced onto the Nasdaq Bulletin Board, the largely unregulated realm of mostly high-risk penny stocks.

But Cityscape isn't done with that ticker symbol quite yet: It still trades with it in the Bulletin Board market, which, while separate from the Nasdaq National Market, still quotes shares electronically over the Nasdaq system.

This week, CitySearch released more details about its upcoming stock offering.

Also this week, Cityscape's shares rocketed from 11 cents a share on Monday to as high as 27 cents on Wednesday, before falling back to 11.5 cents at the close.

Nearly 2 million Cityscape shares changed hands Wednesday.

All of which compelled Cityscape to issue this statement: "Investors interested in CitySearch are urged to take all appropriate steps to ensure that any investment they wish to make in CitySearch is made in CitySearch and not in Cityscape."

No kidding.

CitySearch produces city guides on the Internet that contain information on local arts and entertainment events, community activities and news.

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