In a move that marks former President Donald Trump’s return to the forefront of public trading, his Truth Social platform commenced trading under the ticker “DJT” on Tuesday, as reported by CBS News. This venture positions Trump, identifiable by his initials, at the control of a publicly traded entity once more, with the shares of Trump Media & Technology Group witnessing a significant surge on the Nasdaq exchange.

According to CBS News, early trading saw the company’s stock jump by more than $25, or approximately 50%, reaching $75.21 per share. Currently (as of 11:40 a.m. EDT), DJT is trading at $69.19, up 38.54% on the day.

Source: MarketWatch

There are 135.45 millions shares outstanding, which means that the company’s market cap is currently around $9.37 billion. This spike has ostensibly boosted the value of Trump’s 58% ownership in the company to an estimated $5.43 billion, albeit theoretically. Truth Social, the flagship service of Trump Media & Technology Group, has been the center of attention, drawing in both critics and supporters, the latter of whom have shown their support by investing in the stock, despite the platform generating just $3.3 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2023 and operating at a loss.

Ben Emons of NewEdge Wealth LLC, in a note cited by CBS News, described “DJT” as having the potential to become a meme stock, influenced significantly by news surrounding Trump. This sentiment suggests that DJT might serve as a barometer for market reactions to Trump’s potential policy directions, labeled “Trump 2.0 policies” by Emons.

The announcement followed a merger with a special purchase acquisition company (SPAC), detailed by CBS News, allowing Trump Media & Technology Group to bypass the traditional initial public offering process. This strategic move culminated in the shares of the SPAC, Digital World Acquisition Corp., experiencing their surge before the official launch of the “DJT” ticker, embodying what’s CEO, Kristi Marvin, referred to as “so on brand” for Trump.

Amidst these developments, CBS News highlighted the financial relief this trading success provides Trump, amidst ongoing legal challenges and financial pressures from lawsuits. Speculation about whether Trump might liquidate some of his DJT shares to cover legal expenses has arisen, though a current “lock up” period restricts such actions for six months. Experts mentioned by CBS News suggest that Trump’s decision to sell could significantly destabilize the stock’s trading performance.

Moreover, CBS News notes that Truth Social’s financial standing is under scrutiny, especially when compared to other tech entities that have gone public. With an estimated 5 million active members and facing comparisons to platforms like Reddit, which boasts significantly higher daily active users and revenue, Truth Social’s path to profitability and growth remains a critical area of watch.

This foray into public trading is not Trump’s first rodeo with the “DJT” ticker, CBS News recounts. A previous venture into public trading with Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts in 1995 saw initial success but eventually faltered, leading to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 2004.

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