Trump’s social media company, trading under DJT, soars on first day

Donald Trump’s first day back on the public markets was a wild ride.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group (DJT), the parent company of Trump’s social media platform Truth Social, rose 16% on Tuesday during the stock’s first day of trading under its new ticker. Earlier in Tuesday’s session, the stock rose as much as 50%.

The company merged with special purpose vehicle Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) in a deal approved by shareholders last week. Prior to the merger, DWAC had been on the public market since 2021.

At Tuesday’s closing price of $57.99, Trump Media had a market cap of around $8 billion.

The former president founded Truth Social after he was kicked off major social media apps like Facebook and Twitter, the platform now known as X, following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots in 2021. Trump has since been reinstated on the platforms.

Trump will maintain a roughly 60% stake in Truth Social, a stake currently worth roughly $5 billion. The merger’s completing also comes as the former president faces a $454 million fraud penalty and grapples with a campaign fundraising shortfall as he gears up for a 2024 presidential rematch against Biden.

But Trump will have to wait before cashing in his shares.

According to the terms of the merger, stakeholders are subject to a six-month lockup period before selling or transferring shares. The only exception would be if the company’s board votes to make a special dispensation.

According to an SEC filing from DWAC, Trump Media lost $49 million in the first nine months of last year and brought in $3.4 million in revenue.

As Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman pointed out, short interest in DWAC stock — bets that the stock price will fall rather than rise — was about 11% of outstanding shares. To note, average short interest in public companies sits in the 3% to 4% range.

Former President Donald Trump awaits the start of a pre-trial hearing with his defense team on Monday, March 25, 2024, in New York. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Alexandra Canal is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on X @allie_canal, LinkedIn, and email her at [email protected].

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