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Trump Media shares fall after Donald Trump's hush money conviction

Illustration shows Truth social network logo

(In MAY 30 story corrects closing price to read $51.84 (not $51.12) in paragraph 2; corrects to show IPO launched via merger with a SPAC in paragraph 4; corrects highest close to read $66.22 (not $79.38) in paragraph 5)

By Chibuike Oguh

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Shares of Trump Media & Technology Group dropped 6.5% late on Thursday after a New York jury convicted former President Donald Trump for falsifying documents to cover up a payment to silence a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.

The Truth Social parent, majority owned by Trump, was trading at $48.44 after the closing bell. It had closed at $51.84 during regular hours on Thursday, which gave it a valuation of $9 billion.

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After deliberations over two days, the 12-member jury announced it had found Trump guilty on all 34 counts he faced. The presiding judge, Justice Juan Merchan, has set sentencing for July 11, which would be days before the July 15 start of the Republican National Convention expected to formally nominate Trump for president.

Trump Media's stock began trading on March 26 after the company merged Digital World Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Trump supporters and speculators snapped up the company's shares, sending them soaring as much as 59% in their Nasdaq debut. The company reported revenues of $770,500 for the March quarter and an adjusted operating loss of $12.1 million.

The shares have been extremely volatile. The highest close was $66.22 on March 27 and the lowest close was $22.84 on April 16.

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)