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Trump Media shares down 46% since former president's conviction

Trump Media shares down 46% since former president's conviction
Trump Media shares down 46% since former president's conviction


Former President Donald J. Trump's stake in his social media company is worth about half of what it was before his conviction for falsifying business records to cover up a sex scandal during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mr. Trump's roughly 65 percent stake in Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of Truth Social, was worth about $6 billion on May 30, the day a New York jury found him guilty of all 34 charges. As of Friday, the value of his 115 million shares of Trump Media had fallen to about $3.2 billion.

By any measure, Mr. Trump's stake is still worth a huge amount of money. But shares of the social media company have been extremely volatile, as highlighted by this month's sharp decline.

Trump Media's stock price traded as high as $66 after it merged with a public shell company in late March, and as high as $23 a few weeks later. The stock, after falling most of the day Friday, closed at $27.66, up about 3 percent.

The sharp price swing is a potential sign of more volatility to come when a provision barring Mr. Trump from selling his shares expires in September, weeks before the presumptive Republican nominee faces President Biden in a a revenge in the presidential election.

Trump Media shares were also weighed down because securities regulators this week allowed the company's early investors to sell potentially tens of millions of shares. Trump Media warned in a filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission's decision could result in a significant decline in the public price of our common stock.

This week, shares of Trump Media fell more than 20% on higher-than-usual trading volumes.

Trump Media went public after finalizing a long-delayed merger with a cash-rich shell company called Digital World Acquisition Corporation, which had raised money by going public in September 2021, a month before announcing its deal with Trump Media. Early investors in Digital World held shares that became Trump Media as well as warrants that gave them the right to buy more shares at a fixed price once certain regulatory hurdles were overcome.

Trump Media sought to put a positive spin on any decline in its stock price from investors exercising their warrants and then selling some of the millions of shares they would receive. In an article published on Truth Social, the company said it could get an additional $247 million in cash if all the warrants were converted into shares.

The merger with Digital World brought in nearly $300 million in cash to help bolster the loss-making Truth Social platform, which the company recently described as one of Mr. Trump's iconic American brands. Until now, Truth Social has struggled to become much more than an online megaphone for Mr. Trump to rally his supporters and blast his critics. The platform only generated $770,000 in ad revenue during the first quarter of this year, a 30% drop from the previous year.




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