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Donald Trump receives earnout bonus worth $1.8 billion in DJT stock

Former President Trump held in contempt for violating gag order
Former President Trump held in contempt for violating gag order 00:48

Former President Donald Trump is now $1.8 billion richer. 

The boost to Trump's wealth comes thanks to his newly public company, Trump Media & Technology Group, whose main asset is the social media platform Truth Social. The company awarded Trump an additional 36 million shares as an "earnout" bonus for the stock staying above $17.50 a share for any 20 trading days within a 30-trading day period, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing

With the stock bonus, Trump now controls 114.75 million shares of Trump Media, which trades under the ticker DJT — the same as his initials. Based on today's closing price for the company, that values his entire stake at $5.7 billion. 

Trump's total net worth is about $8 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which says that the bulk of his fortune is now tied up in DJT shares.

The value of Trump's stake in DJT was juiced by a recent surge in the stock's value. Since going public in late March, Trump Media has been on a bumpy road, with the stock initially surging to a peak of $79.38 per share, followed by a weekslong slide that spurred CEO Devin Nunes to accuse some investors of manipulating the stock through an illegal type of short selling.

But since last Monday, the stock has surged 43%, regaining some of that lost ground. Shares on Tuesday rose $3.24, or 7%, to $49.93. 

Still, Trump won't be able to cash out on his new fortune anytime soon. That's because of a so-called lockup period that restricts him and other Trump Media executives from selling their shares for another five months. Lockups are common with newly listed companies because they keep insiders from selling their stakes shortly after a company goes public, which could cause a stock to sink in value.

The additional stock grant means that Trump now owns about 65% of Trump Media & Technology Group, a company that's in the red and that booked just $4.1 million in revenue last year.

But many of Trump Media's shareholders are small investors who support the former president, with Nunes telling Fox Business that the company has roughly 600,000 retail investors. On Truth Social, some of them celebrated Trump's new ownership stake, predicting that it could put pressure on short-sellers, who are traders that bet a stock will decline in value.

"Prezz and co just played them like a fiddle," one supporter wrote on Truth, with a screenshot of an alert about the earnout.

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