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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Trump Media stock down 46% since former president’s conviction

By Matthew Goldstein New York Times

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

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

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

Trump Media’s stock price traded as high as $66 after its merger with a public shell company in late March and as low as $23 a few weeks later. The stock, after trading down most of the day Friday, closed at $27.66, up about 3%.

The big swing in price is a potential sign of more volatility to come when a provision that bars Trump from selling his shares expires in September, a few weeks before the presumptive Republican nominee faces President Joe Biden in a presidential election rematch.

Trump Media’s stock has also been weighed down because securities regulators this week allowed early investors in the company to potentially sell tens of millions of shares. Trump Media warned in a filing that the move by the Securities and Exchange Commission “could result in a significant decline in the public trading price of our common stock.”

This week, shares of Trump Media have fallen more than 20% on heavier than usual trading volumes. Trump Media went public after completing a long-delayed merger with a cash-rich shell company called Digital World Acquisition Corp., which had raised money by going public in September 2021, a month before announcing its deal with Trump Media. Early investors in Digital World had stock that became Trump Media as well as warrants that gave them the right to buy more shares at a fixed price after certain regulatory hurdles were cleared.

Trump Media has 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 a posting 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 nearly $300 million in cash to help bolster the loss-making Truth Social platform, which the company recently described as one of Trump’s “iconic American brands.” So far, Truth Social has struggled to become much more than an online megaphone for Trump to rally his supporters and blast his critics. The platform took in $770,000 in ad revenue during the first quarter of this year, a 30% drop from a year earlier.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.