Trump’s media company value soars in Wall St debut

The value Donald Trump's media company has rocketed to $US8 billion in its Wall Street debut, giving the former president potential help to pay his legal bills.

The value Donald Trump's media company has rocketed to $US8 billion in its Wall Street debut, giving the former president potential help to pay his legal bills. Photo: AAP

Shares of Donald Trump’s Trump Media & Technology Group has surged as much as 59 per cent in their Nasdaq debut, lifted by the former US president’s supporters and providing him a potential windfall as he grapples with the costs of several legal cases.

At its session high of $US79.38 a share on Tuesday, TMTG’s market capitalisation crossed $US10 billion ($15 billion) on an undiluted basis, an astronomical valuation for a company that reported an operating loss of $US10.6 million for the first nine months of 2023 on revenue of just $US3.4 million.

The stock closed 16 per cent higher at $US57.99, valuing the company at nearly $US8 billion.

Trump’s majority stake in TMTG was last valued about $US6 billion, although lock-up restrictions for six months could prevent him selling or borrowing against his shareholding.

TMTG’s stock market debut follows its merger with blank-cheque company Digital World Acquisition Corp that was announced in 2021 but suffered setbacks and delays.

Digital World and the newly listed TMTG have together surged almost 600 per cent since the deal was announced, cementing TMTG’s status as one of Wall Street’s so-called meme stocks popular among retail traders and whose movement can be driven by posts on social media.

“The valuation of the business is rich relative to its underlying fundamentals but I would not get in front of it in the near term,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital.

“This valuation may be more of a proxy on the enthusiasm of supporters for Trump than a reasonable estimate of underlying business prospects.”

Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp, which is now TMTG, surged more than 35 per cent on Monday after completing its merger.

Trump, who faces four criminal trials in his race to US presidency, has struggled to raise money for his campaign and legal expenses.

The company also provides a way for supporters of Trump to bet on his resurgence as a political figure, as evidenced by shares of shell company Digital World Acquisition nearly tripling in value in 2024.

The deal will also inject $US300 million in cash into TMTG-owned social media platform Truth Social.

Truth Social, launched in February 2022, sought to capitalise on the ban on Trump’s accounts across social media platforms such as Twitter, now X, and those run by Meta Platforms.

It also played to users who believe other social media platforms have restricted conservative voices.

In February, Truth Social had 8.9 million sign-ups, according to a regulatory filing.

X had 238 million daily active users as of June 2022, as per the latest available official data, while Facebook and Reddit had 2.1 billion and 73 million.

Digital World said in a filing in February that Trump might divest his stake in Truth Social and cease any involvement in its management based on how his bid for president went.

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