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Trump Media auditor warns that losses ‘raise substantial doubt’ about company’s ability to continue

Trump Media auditor warns that losses 'raise substantial doubt' about company's ability to continue

NEW YORK — An auditor has raised doubts about the ability of former President Donald Trump’s publicly traded company to stay in business, according to a new regulatory filing.

Trump Media and Technology Group, which operates the Truth Social platform, reported it lost $58.2 million in 2023 while generating total revenues of $4.1 million, according to the Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Trump Media listed its largest expense for the year as interest payments totaling more than $39 million.

The filing includes a note from an independent accounting firm, Colorado-based BF Borgers CPA PC, warning that Trump Media’s “operating losses raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.” In a separate filing Monday, Trump Media cited the auditor’s analysis in describing the risks facing the business. Borgers has worked with Trump Media since 2022.

The note is dated March 25, the day before Trump’s company started trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol DJT, surging at first and earning comparisons to so-called meme stocks.

Shares of the company fell more than 21% to $48.66 on Monday. Its market value stood at more than $6.5 billion.

A spokesperson for Trump Media referred a request for comment to a Monday news release that quotes Trump Media CEO and former U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes.

“Closing out the 2023 financials related to the merger, Truth Social today has no debt and over $200 million in the bank, opening numerous possibilities for expanding and enhancing our platform,” Nunes said in the release. “We intend to take full advantage of these opportunities to make Truth Social the quintessential free-speech platform for the American people.”

In the filing, the company acknowledged that it expects to operate at a loss for the “foreseeable future” as it works to expand Truth Social’s user base and attract more advertisers. It said it would be “premature” to predict when it will attain profitability and positive cash flows from its operations.

As of the end of 2023, Trump Media had about $2.6 million in cash on hand and total liabilities of $70.1 million, according to the filing. The company received an infusion of about $300 million from its merger a week ago with shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp.

Trump Media went public last week and gave the former president a paper net worth of around $7 billion. However, Trump is barred from selling the shares he owns in the company for six months. Even before the latest losses were revealed, analysts said the value of the company would plummet if Trump were to sell his shares.

“If he goes ahead [with selling], it could sink DJT by at least 15% to 40% based on option pricing,” said Ben Emons, senior portfolio manager and head of fixed income at NewEdge Wealth, in a research note.

In a filing, the company cited Trump’s candidacy for the presidency in warning that “he may divest his interest in Truth Social and may cease any involvement in its management.”

Analysts also expect trading in the stock to be volatile while the legal and political fortunes of the former president shift as he seeks a new term in the White House. John Rekenthaler, vice president for research at Morningstar financial services group, likened the company’s stock to a cryptocurrency.

As with bitcoin, people buy Trump Media not for future cash flows but because: 1) they expect its price to rise, and 2) they feel an affiliation for the asset,” Rekenthaler wrote. “Bitcoin owners are members of a club. So, too, are Trump Media investors, to an even greater degree. For them, DJT shares represent a currency by which they can express their beliefs and commitment.”

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