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Trump Media stock falls more than 21% after company discloses $58 million loss for 2023

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LA Post: Trump Media stock falls more than 21% after company discloses $58 million loss for 2023
AP
WYATTE GRANTHAM-PHILIPS
April 01, 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — Less than a week after a flashy stock market debut, Donald Trump's social media company on Monday disclosed that it lost nearly $58.2 million last year, sending its stock tumbling more than 21%.

Losses in 2023 for Trump Media & Technology Group — whose flagship product is Truth Social — mark a stark decline compared with the profit of $50.5 million that the former president's company reported for 2022, according to a company filing with securities regulators.

Revenue for Trump Media came in at $4.1 million in 2023, the SEC filing shows, although that's up from $1.5 million in 2022.

After merging with a blank-check company called Digital World Acquisition Corp., Trump Media began trading March 26 on the Nasdaq stock market under ticker symbol DJT. And it's been a volatile ride.

Trump Media's shares soared in their first couple days of trading — surpassing $79 at one point — but have since fallen closer to their initial offering price of $49.95. The company's stock closed at $48.66 after Monday's sell-off, meaning a lot of early investors are taking a hit.

Industry analysts have compared the fervor around Florida-based Trump Media to the meme stock craze, which notably boosted shares of struggling companies such as GameStop and the movie chain AMC Entertainment to exorbitant heights in 2021.

On Monday, shares for these so-called meme stocks slid as well, with GameStop and AMC down more than 4% and 15%, respectfully, at market close. And Reddit, another company that recently went public and has since been looped into meme stock frenzy comparisons, slumped nearly 7%.

Trump’s social media site had been seen as a potential financial lifeline for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee as he faces an unprecedented onslaught of legal and financial challenges.

In addition to four criminal cases — which each come with their own expensive lawyers — Trump faces a $454 million-plus civil fraud penalty after a New York state judge ruled that he and others at his company had schemed for years to dupe banks, insurers and others by inflating his wealth on financial statements.

Last week, Trump won a break when an appeals court cut the amount he needs to put up to pause collection while he appeals to $175 million, which Trump has said he will be able to cover. But he must come up with the money by Thursday.

Trump previously put up a $92 million bond after he was found liable for sexually assaulting and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll. The money is meant to ensure that she will receive a jury award for his verbal attacks against her if it survives appeals.

How much cash Trump will have left at the end of the week is unclear. Trump reported having about $294 million in cash or cash equivalents on his most recent annual financial statement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

After that, according to New York state lawyers, he added about $186.8 million from selling the lease on his Washington hotel in May 2022 and the rights to manage a New York City golf course in June 2023.

Trump Media's move into the public market could also net the former president billions on paper — although there hasn't been an immediate payout yet. In Monday’s filing, the company did not announce any changes to the provision that prevents insiders such as Trump from selling their shares for six months following its stock market debut. Still, some experts have speculated that the board might waive the provision for Trump and allow him to sell shares to help cover his legal bills.

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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

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