Trump’s Truth Social stock soars in first day of trading

Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social (DJT) surged more than 50% in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq Tuesday morning.

Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group, Truth Social’s parent company, were trading above $75 under the ticker symbol “DJT,” Trump’s initials, just after the market open.

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.

Trump 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. He has since been reinstated on the platforms.

Trump will maintain a roughly 60% stake in Truth Social, or nearly 79 million shares. That valuation could surge to more than $3 billion depending on trading levels.

The merger 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 current commander-in-chief Joe 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 Digital World, 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.

Alexandra Canal is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on X @allie_canal, LinkedIn, and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com.

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Former President Donald Trump awaits the start of a pre-trial hearing with his defense team at Manhattan criminal, Monday, March 25, 2024, in New…

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