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03/26/24 2:07 PM

#129 RE: gfp927z #128

>>> DJT having a good first day: Trump's Truth Social media stock price sees rapid rise

by Bailey Schulz


March 26, 2024

Donald Trump's Truth Social stock price skyrocketed during its stock market debut, gaining more than 40% by early Tuesday afternoon.

The parent company of Truth Social, Trump Media & Technology Group, went public Tuesday morning under the ticker DJT, short for Donald J. Trump. The stock was trading at $71.63 as of 1:32 p.m. ET, up nearly $22.

The public listing was made possible by Trump Media's merger with Digital World Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Digital World’s shareholders voted in favor of the merger Friday, and Trump Media took Digital World's place on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

How much is Truth Social worth?

Before trading opened Tuesday, Truth Social's parent company had a market value of about $6.8 billion. Because Trump owns about 79 million of the 135 million outstanding shares, his stake in the company was worth about $4 billion.

It’s a pricy valuation, especially for a company that has racked up tens of millions of dollars in losses since its 2021 launch and generated just over $3 million in revenue during the first nine months of 2023.

In comparison, Reddit ? a social media platform that brought in more than $800 million in revenue in 2023 ? was valued at roughly $6.4 million for its IPO last week. Its stock was trading at $70.90 as of 1:16 p.m. ET.

While it's "hard to believe" that Truth Social and Reddit are close in valuation, Trump's social media company has been bolstered by investments from loyal Trump supporters, said Derek Horstmeyer, a finance professor at George Mason University in Virginia.

"It's hard to come up with any reasonable metrics that would get you to this valuation," Horstmeyer said.

What is Trump’s net worth?

Truth Social going public means a massive boost to Trump’s net worth, at least on paper.

Trump is not allowed to sell his shares or use them as collateral for a bond for the next six months. He would need approval from the Trump Media board to lift that restriction.

Trump has been ordered to post a $175 million bond as he appeals the full $454 million civil fraud judgment against him. He has also been ordered to pay $83.3 million after a defamation trial loss to advice columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Why is Truth Social’s ticker DJT?

Research shows that familiar names, such as a former president’s initials, can help a company’s stock performance.

One 2006 study by Princeton University psychologists found that stocks with tickers that are easier to pronounce tend to perform better in the first few days of trading. Another study from Pomona College in 2019 verified earlier research that found clever tickers tend to perform better, partly because they are more memorable to investors.

What is Digital World Acquisition?

Digital World is a SPAC, also known as a blank check company. These publicly traded shell companies exist to acquire or merge with private companies and take them public.

Truth Social’s merger with Digital World was first announced in 2021, when the number of companies going public via SPACs surged. The investment vehicles have since faced criticism for being bad deals for retail investors.

Why did Trump launch Truth Social?

Truth Social was founded after Trump was booted from major social media platforms following the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.