Shares in Trump Media tumble after filings reveal a $58m loss last year

The company debuted on the stock market last week, offering Trump a ray of hope amid pending financial woes.

Trump media
Trump Media & Technology Group is traded under the acronym DJT on the Nasdaq stock exchange [Frank Franklin II/The Associated Press]

Shares in former President Donald Trump’s Trump Media & Technology Group surged last week after debuting on the stock market in the United States.

But a disclosure that the company lost nearly $58.2m in 2023 has sent those stocks tumbling, dropping by 23 percent as of Monday.

The volatile first week, which came in the wake of a merger with the shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp, underscored the unpredictability of a venture that the former president may be relying on for financial salvation.

Trump faces mounting legal penalties and court costs, as he contends with four criminal indictments and a slate of civil cases. He is also running for president in November’s election, and legal fees are reportedly draining his campaign coffers.

Trump Media’s stock made a strong debut on March 26, fuelled by retail buyers, including some supporters of the former president. It closed up 16 percent at nearly $58 a share on its first day of trading.

However, Monday’s disclosure saw shares fall by $14.45 to $47.51.

The disclosure is part of an 8-K filing to the federal Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), designed to update shareholders about recent events affecting the company and its stock.

The resulting stock plunge arrives at a critical juncture for Trump, who faces a looming deadline to pay a $175m bond in a New York civil fraud case.

His defence team had argued that the initial $464m bond was too high — and the former president would be unable to find underwriters to post that sum. The amount was lowered upon appeal.

Last week’s Trump Media merger offered some hope, however, for an eventual infusion of cash. The deal was estimated to raise Trump’s net worth by as much as $3bn, although he is unable to sell his shares until six months after the deal.

Still, experts said the theoretical rise in value could help Trump’s team persuade a company to underwrite his bonds going forward.

Trump has said he will pay the $175m bond by Thursday’s deadline, although he has not yet done so.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has said her office is prepared to begin seizing Trump’s assets if he does not pay.

Last month, Trump also posted a bond of more than $91m, as he appeals a defamation judgement in a case brought by writer E Jean Carroll.

Even with the decline in Trump Media’s stock, the company still had a market value of $6.3bn on Monday, and Trump is set to own between 58 percent and 69 percent of the company.

The company remains embroiled in a separate legal battle with its co-founders, Wesley Moss and Andrew Litinsky. They accuse Trump Media of trying to improperly dilute their stake.

The company, however, has said the pair failed to earn their shares. It seeks to strip them of their ownership and wants a judge to declare they had no right to appoint two board members.

Trump Media owns the social media platform Truth Social, which Trump co-founded in 2021 after he was suspended from apps like Twitter, now known as X.

Source: News Agencies