Trump Media Shares Swing Wildly Then Tumble a Day After Conviction

Former President Donald Trump returns to the courthouse moments before hearing that the jury had a verdict in his criminal trial, Thursday. (Justin Lane/Pool Photo via AP)

(AP) — Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group swung wildly at the opening bell Friday, falling rapidly after it appeared that the owner of social networking site Truth Social would bounce back despite the conviction of the former President Donald Trump.

After rising more than 2% at the opening of trade Friday shares slid 7%, about the levels they were trading immediately after the conviction was announced on off-hours trading Thursday evening. They recovered some of the loss but were still down more than 5%.

The stock, which trades under the ticker symbol “DJT,” has been extraordinarily volatile since its debut in late March, joining the group of meme stocks that are prone to ricochet from highs to lows as small-pocketed investors attempt to catch an upward momentum swing at the right time.

The stock has tripled this year, in the process frequently making double-digit percentage moves either higher or lower on a single day. It peaked at nearly $80 in intraday trading on March 26. For context, the S&P 500 is up almost 10% year to date.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission before going public, Trump Media warned investors of the potential pitfalls faced by the former president and the adverse affect it might have on the stock.

“President Donald J. Trump is the subject of numerous legal proceedings, the scope and scale of which are unprecedented for a former President of the United States and current candidate for that office. An adverse outcome in one or more of the ongoing legal proceedings in which President Donald J. Trump is involved could negatively impact TMTG and its Truth Social platform.”

Earlier this month, Trump Media reported that it lost more than $300 million last quarter, according to its first earnings report as a publicly traded company.

For the three-month period that ended March 31, the company posted a loss of $327.6 million, which it said included $311 million in non-cash expenses related to its merger with a company called Digital World Acquisition Corp. DWAC was an example of what’s known as a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, which can give young companies quicker and easier routes to getting their shares trading publicly, but with much less scrutiny.

Trump Media & Technology fired an auditor this month that federal regulators recently charged with “massive fraud.” The media company dismissed BF Borgers as its independent public accounting firm on May 3, delaying the filing of its quarterly earnings report.

Trump Media had previously cycled through at least two other auditors — one that resigned in July 2023, and another that was terminated by its board in March, just as it was rehiring BF Borgers.

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