Apr 15, 2024 - Business

Trump’s Truth Social shares fall again

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Donald Trump's meme stock fell on Monday, just like it has fallen on most of the 14 days it has traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. It closed at $26.61 per share, down 18% from Friday's close and down 66% from its March 26 high of $79.38.

Why it matters: Trump's shareholding in Trump Media and Technology Group accounts for most of his net worth.

The intrigue: The latest drop came after the social-media company released a 217-page SEC filing designed to officially register millions of shares that belong to Donald Trump and other shareholders. Those shares aren't yet being traded on the Nasdaq, and they can't do so until the SEC deems the filing effective.

  • The filing and the associated press release do mention — eventually — that Trump Media and Technology Group isn't issuing new shares and won't receive any money when the newly-registered stock starts trading.

Between the lines: The total number of shares outstanding isn't changing, and neither are lockup restrictions preventing shareholders like Trump from selling any of their holdings until September. In fact, there was essentially no new news in the filing at all.

  • DJT stock is however held by a disproportionate number of retail investors, many of whom have relatively little investing experience. Many of them may have thought the company itself was issuing new stock and diluting existing shareholders — an idea encouraged by some reporting.
  • "The corporate media's misreporting on every aspect of Truth Social is relentless and intentional," said a spokesperson for the company.

Zoom in: Early investors in the blank-check company that acquired Truth Social were granted warrants to buy shares at $11.50 each. The new filing officially allows those warrants to be converted into newly-issued shares — something that will certainly happen if the share price remains above $11.50, but that won't happen if the shares fall lower than that level.

  • The warrants, which trade separately under the ticker symbol DJTWW, closed Monday at $11.62 each.

Zoom out: Because Trump can't sell DJT stock until late September, its current price gyrations are largely academic to him for the time being. What's most relevant to him is how valuable and how liquid the stock will be in October, rather than how much it's going up or down today.

  • At that point, it would be better for him if the stock is rising from a low level rather than falling from a high level, because it's easier to sell into a rising market without tanking the stock.
  • Trump supporters might also be more likely to start buying the stock once the former president's lockup expires, because we'll be much closer to the election and because their money might end up going directly to Trump himself.

The bottom line: Trump dominated the news cycle on Monday — but that did nothing to help the share price of his social-media company.

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