How many users does Donald Trump's social media company have? He won't say.

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How many users does Donald Trump's social media company have? He won't say.
Donald Trump's social media company won't say how many users it has. That should concern investors.Michael M. Santiago/Getty, spxChrome/Getty, Tyler Le/BI
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The stock price for Trump Media & Technology Group Corp — Donald Trump's social media company — dropped by nearly 25% on Monday.

Supposedly that's because investors got a look at new financials, which illustrate that Trump Media & Technology Group — the company that brought you Truth Social — is a bad business.

That doesn't make any sense.

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There are zero people who care about the business prospects of Trump Media & Technology Group who were unaware it was a bad business. You could see that in the company's previous filings, which also illustrated that it was a bad business.

If you want to squint, you could argue that the new filings are extra bad because they illustrate that the bad business is getting worse.

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For instance: After generating $3.4 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2023 — an average of $1.1 million a quarter — Trump Media only generated another $750,000 in revenue in the last quarter of the year. A hard growth story to sell, even for Donald Trump.

But no rational person looked at Trump Media & Technology Group Corp.'s financials and concluded it was a company worth $6 billion or $9 billion or anything close to it. People bought the stock because they like Donald Trump, or they like the idea of investing in a meme stock propped up by people who like Donald Trump.

I can hear your objection right now: How can you be sure Trump Media & Technology Group isn't a real business based solely on its miserable financials? Don't fast-growing tech companies often work on growth, then turn around and focus on stuff like revenue and profits?

Sure! Sometimes.

Twitter, for instance, was losing money when it went public, and investors thought it was worth tens of billions of dollars right up until Elon Musk bought it. (It's been a different story since then.)

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But Twitter, and every other social media company that has gone public, was at least able to tell investors it was getting more popular by providing numbers like average users and other statistics that were increasing. See: Reddit's IPO last month.

And Trump Media & Technology Group? They're not telling investors anything about how many people are signing up. Or how many of them are sticking around. Or how ad sales are going.

Nothing. Nada.

Per Trump Media's most recent filing, which echoes one it made earlier this year: "TMTG believes that adhering to traditional key performance indicators, such as signups, average revenue per user, ad impressions and pricing, or active user accounts including monthly and daily active users, could potentially divert its focus from strategic evaluation with respect to the progress and growth of its business."

Translation: If we tell you how many people are using Truth Social — or how many people signed up but aren't using Truth Social anymore — even we may have a hard time getting you to invest in us. So we won't!

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Trump's company isn't even promising to keep track of this stuff itself: "TMTG may find it challenging or cost-prohibitive to implement such effective controls and procedures and may never collect, monitor, or report any or certain key operating metrics." I've asked the company for comment.

So there you go. The numbers Trump's social media company are willing to share with investors illustrate that it's a lousy business. And the numbers it won't share with them? Those must be something else.

So the next time Trump Media stock tanks — a bet a lot of people have already made — feel free to imagine a good reason why. Just don't say they've seen new data. We already know everything we need to know about this one.

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