Trump’s Truth Social Soars 50% in Stock Debut

Donald Trump’s newly public company soared more than 50% in its first day of trading Tuesday.

After completing its merger with the shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp. Monday, Trump Media and Technology Group, trading under the ticker symbol DJT — the former president’s initials — shot up as it debuted on the Nasdaq Tuesday.

In late morning trading, the stock was up $21.27, or 33%, to $71.22, after earlier topping out at $79.38. Trading volume was nearing 23 million shares in just the first hour of the session, indicating widespread interest in the stock.

The price built on the last closing price of Digital World’s stock, $49.95. Digital World shareholders on Friday approved the merger with Trump Media the parent of his struggling Truth Social platform.

Digital World, a special purpose acquisition company that formed in order to combine with another company to take it public, has been trading publicly since 2021. Trump fans snapped up shares of the company after the deal was approved, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Trump holds about a 60% stake in Truth Social, or about 79 million shares of the public company’s 125 million. That stakeis worth roughly $4 billion, despite Truth Social having just about $5 million in sales and losing tens of millions, according to the Wall Street Journal, since it launched in 2021 after Trump was kicked off Twitter and Facebook following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Technically, the cash-strapped former president will be unable to tap the newfound wealth because the shares are locked up, which means he has to hold the investment until at least September.

He can’t sell or borrow against the shares unless he gets a waiver from the company’s board.

That might not be a heavy lift, however, given that the board is made up of Trump loyalists, including his son, Donald Trump Jr.; former California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, who left Congress to take over as CEO of Truth Social; former WWE executive and Trump’s Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon; Robert Lighthizer, who was US trade representative during the Trump administration and Kash Patel, also a former member of Trump’s administration.

The stock’s debut comes as Trump is facing more than a half billion in legal judgements from two civil trials, including $454 million in a civil fraud judgement from a case brought by the New York Attorney General’s office. On Tuesday, a New York appeals court agreed to push off collection of that bill while Trump appeals, if he can put up a $175 million bond within 10 days.

He initially was expected to have to post a bond for the entire amount while he appealed, but his lawyers said in court papers it was a “practical impossibility” to secure a bond of that size, The Associated Press reported.

Trump said Tuesday he would be able to post the $175 million bond.

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