Trump Media shares plunge after Donald Trump convicted in hush-money trial

Shares fall as much as 15 percent after former president is found guilty on all 34 counts.

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Former President Donald Trump launched Truth Social after he was kicked off of Twitter and Facebook [Justin Lane/Pool via AP Photo]

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group, Donald Trump’s social media company, have plunged following the former US president’s historic conviction in his hush-money trial.

The company’s stock, which trades under the ticker “DJT”, fell as much as 15 percent in extended trading on Thursday after Trump was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Shares recovered during the session, but were still down about 9 percent in the early evening.

Trump Media’s stock has been marked by extreme volatility since its debut, drawing comparisons to meme stocks known for their wild price swings such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings.

The parent company of Truth Social made a rip-roaring debut in March, soaring as much as 59 percent on the first day of trading.

The stock has had a bumpy ride since then, including a single-day double-digit plunge in April after Truth Social announced plans to expand into streaming.

Trump Media reported a net loss of $327.6m in the first quarter, and the company’s $9bn market cap is widely seen as being based on the loyalty of Trump’s supporters.

Since Trump owns 65 percent of the company’s shares, large swings in the stock price have a significant effect on his personal wealth.

Trump, who will face off against US President Joe Biden in November in a repeat of the 2020 election, launched Truth Social after he was kicked off Facebook and Twitter following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Despite Thursday’s guilty verdict, Trump is not prevented from serving a second term as president if he prevails over Biden.

Trump faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison for each count at a sentencing hearing scheduled for July, though analysts say he is much more likely to receive probation or community service due to his age and previous lack of a criminal record.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies