Trump’s social media company gains in its first day of trading on Nasdaq

Pedestrians walk past the Nasdaq building Tuesday, March 26, 2024, in New York. Trump Media, which runs the social media platform Truth Social, now takes Digital World's place on the Nasdaq stock exchange. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Donald Trump’s social media company rose about 16% in the first day of trading on the Nasdaq, boosting the value of Trump’s large stake in the company as well as the smaller holdings of fans who purchased shares as a show of support for the former president.

Trump Media &Technology Group Corp. merged Monday with a blank-check company called Digital World Acquisition Corp. Trump Media, which runs the social media platform Truth Social, has now taken Digital World’s place on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

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Shares closed at $57.99, up 16.1%, giving the company a market value of $7.85 billion. At one point the stock was up about 59%. Trump holds a nearly 60% ownership stake in the company.

Many of those investing in Trump Media are small-time investors either trying to support Trump or aiming to cash in on the mania, instead of big institutional and professional investors. Those shareholders helped the stock of Digital World more than double this year in anticipation of the merger going through.

Truth Social launched in February 2022, one year after Trump was banned from major social platforms including Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He’s since been reinstated to both but has stuck with Truth Social.

On Truth Social Tuesday, users were posting about being shareholders or seeking tips on how to buy shares.

One user urged conservatives to “get behind the DJT stock and sent it over $100 per share” to “drive the liberals insane!”

A day earlier, Trump Media CEO Devin Nunes, a former House Republican, said, “As a public company, we will passionately pursue our vision to build a movement to reclaim the Internet from Big Tech censors.”

Despite the enthusiasm, investors could experience a bumpy ride. They’re betting on a company with uncertain prospects of turning a profit. Trump Media lost $49 million in the first nine months of last year, when it brought in just $3.4 million in revenue and had to pay $37.7 million in interest expenses.