Bloomberg News

News that AT&T; agreed to buy Tele-Communications Inc. triggered the heaviest trading in TCI stock in more than four years. One problem: That's the wrong stock.

TCI is the symbol for shares of Transcontinental Realty Investors Inc., a small real estate investment trust that trades on the New York Stock Exchange and has no connection with the cable TCI, whose Nasdaq stock symbol is TCOMA.

In a frenzy to get in on the transaction, some retail buyers started snapping up shares of TCI when they really wanted TCOMA, said Julie Snodgrass, investor relations director for Transcontinental.

Transcontinental's stock jumped as high as $16.56 on Wednesday, up 3.5% from Tuesday, before closing at $16.31 in its second-heaviest trading session ever.

The confusion has Snodgrass convinced that some investors are, well, just plain sloppy.

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