NEW YORK Shares of Procter & Gamble (PG.N) fell nearly 5 percent in active trading during a brief period at midday on'm Friday.
About 329,000 shares changed hands over the space of one minute at 12:11 p.m. EDT (1611 GMT), when the stock suddenly fell to $73.61, before resuming its earlier trading range.
A flurry of about 175 trades, executed on the New York Stock Exchange within a one-second period, caused the decline, with about 244,000 shares changing hands on the Big Board, according to time-and-sales data from Thomson Reuters.
"P&G did have a mini-flash crash today," said Tony Venosa, senior options strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"Some quick traders were able to pocket big profits in mere seconds."
NYSE Euronext NYX.N, which operates the New York Stock Exchange, declined comment.
Trading data shows the stock was trading in its prevailing range on other exchanges. The stock was up 0.7 percent at $77.83 in late afternoon trading on Friday.
With less than an hour remaining in the session, about 4.6 million shares have changed hands in the stock so far.
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Bernadette Baum and Leslie Gevirtz)