Truth Social stock rebounding after hush money trial low for DJT

The parent company of social media platform Truth Social has continued its volatile journey on the stock market, doubling since a low three weeks ago.

Trump Media & Technology Group went public on the Nasdaq on March 26. Share prices have swung wildly from more than $70 a share to just under $23 in mid-April as Trump’s hush money trial began in New York. They closed just over $49 on Wednesday.

“Expect the unexpected,” said Jay Ritter, a finance scholar at the University of Florida. Despite the upswing, the stock price is likely headed to $1 to $2 a share, Ritter said. “Whether it takes six months to get there or three years to get there, nobody knows for sure.”

He speculated that the stock’s recent rise may be a result of the company’s efforts to combat short selling − a strategy that involves selling shares in the hopes the price will drop, then buying them back at a lower price and locking in a profit.

Trump Media posted information online on how investors can prevent their shares from being used by “short sellers,” pushing those sellers to buy the stock back at higher prices, which can result in heavy losses.

“That buying pressure is probably the major reason why the stock has doubled in the last three weeks,” Ritter said.

At Wednesday’s close, Trump Media & Technology Group Corp. shares rose to $49.26, up 3.3% from the previous close.

Trump founded his social media company in 2021 after being booted from other major platforms after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump Media went public on the Nasdaq on March 26 through a merger with shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The merger was announced in 2021.

Trump’s debut on the stock market was splashy, with Trump Media shares soaring, helped partly by – and to the delight of – his supporters.

But regulatory filings show the company was operating at a loss in 2023, making about $4 million in revenue while losing more than $58 million. Accounting firm BF Borgers CPA PC said in a letter to Trump Media shareholders that the operating losses “raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

That firm has since been shut down on allegations of “massive fraud,” the SEC announced Friday. In a news release, Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, called BF Borgers CPA PC a “sham audit mill” after finding that its audits, included in more than 1,500 SEC filings, did not comply with oversight standards.

Despite bouncing back, Trump Media share prices have fallen since their peak of more than $70 a share.

Trump also was ordered to pay a combined $537 million across two civil cases earlier this year, both of which he is appealing. Trump has also been ordered to pay $10,000 in fines for gag order violations in his hush money trial and could rack up more as the trial continues.

At one point, the Trump Media shares were a potential source of funding to put toward hefty legal fees.

But in April, Trump posted a reduced bond of $175 million fronted by California billionaire Don Hankey to prevent his assets from being seized in a fraud case.