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It's been an up and down week for Trump's DJT stock

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

All right. We're going to stay with the former president. A little more than three weeks ago, Donald Trump's net worth skyrocketed. That was thanks to the valuation of his majority ownership of Truth Social. But now, Trump's financial worth has been cut significantly. His stock is tanking, and investors are wondering how low it will go. NPR's Rafael Nam has been watching the ups and downs and joins us now. Hey, Rafael.

RAFAEL NAM, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa.

CHANG: OK, so I remember when we first talked to you about the stock at the end of March - Trump had, you know, just made the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for the first time ever. Things were looking so good for him. What has happened since then?

NAM: Well, Ailsa, let's start with the good news. Today was actually a very good day for Trump's company. The stock rallied and ended up 26%. But this comes after a really rough stretch for the company. Shares of Trump Media and Technology Group - that's the company that owns Truth Social - those shares are still trading at over half of where they were when we last talked in March.

CHANG: Wait, why? What's going on there?

NAM: Well, first, big picture, the company attracted a lot of speculative traders. They sold quickly and made quite a bit of money, which made the stock volatile. And two, the company is still in pretty terrible shape. It lost over $50 million last year, has very little sales and not a lot of users. And now, Trump Media is saying it plans to get into live video streaming. That's expensive and risky. And on top of it all, the company said it will be selling tens of millions in new shares. That's usually not good since it makes everybody's holdings a little less valuable.

CHANG: Right. Well, if speculators got out, who's left holding the stock at Truth Social?

NAM: First, there are the shareholders who are true Trump believers, and there are a lot of them. I was scrolling through Truth Social this morning. Many said they plan to hold on. A user named @SnowBlazer (ph) said he has no intentions to sell anytime soon. In fact, he said, in a couple years, I will be really rich or really broke. That was a common sentiment, I'll tell you. I also talked to a professional investor for his thoughts. His name is Matthew Tuttle, and this is where he thinks the stock is headed.

MATTHEW TUTTLE: You know, if I woke up tomorrow and it was zero, or if I woke up tomorrow and it was a hundred, neither one of those things would surprise me.

NAM: But the stock - it's really not about the company. It's all about Donald J. Trump. He owns nearly 60% of the company, and, no matter what, Trump is still likely to come out a winner.

CHANG: Really? Explain that. Why?

NAM: Well, let's put it this way. Trump's stake in Truth Social may no longer be as valuable as it was. He's no longer in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Under his current agreement, he can't sell his shares for another six months, but his stake is still worth over $2 billion. This is for a company where he's actually invested no money - zero - and that's actually not a bad place to be in.

CHANG: That is NPR's Rafael Nam. Thank you, Rafael.

NAM: Thank you, Ailsa.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Rafael Nam
Rafael Nam is NPR's senior business editor.