Donald Trump and his Twitter account continue to dominate headlines on this Monday, which forecasts one heck of a week for ongoing cabinet selections amid the Russia and China situations. Trump is not only the future leader of the free world but — underneath it all — a celebrity, which grants him great influence on Twitter. Today, Trump proved that a single tweet can severely impact a company’s bottom line.
That’s what happened with Lockheed Martin, which recently finalized a $6.1 billion deal with the Pentagon to produce the stealthy F-35 fighter jets. The company’s stock took a major hit when Trump slammed the F-35 program’s cost and hinted that, come Inauguration Day, “billions of dollars” may no longer be spent on a certain defense contractor.
Let’s take a look at that plummeting stock, shall we?
CNBC places the damage at $4 billion (a 3% downswing) all because of one tweet. This presents terrifying prospects, for Trump often tweets randomly, angrily, in the middle of the night, and without thinking. Was this Lockheed Martin tweet planned in advance? It’s possible, or Trump could simply be “keeping it real” like he enjoys doing.
This presents obvious difficulties. There’s little doubt that Trump’s a loose cannon and freely speaks his mind, which is why so many voters — who were sick of the stuffy GOP establishment — chose him as their leader. However, those same blue-collar workers who clamored for “Make America Great Again” ball caps could lose their livelihoods as a result of these tweets. And then Michael Moore will make the rounds for another “rude awakening” discussion.
After Trump’s tweet, Lockheed Martin F-35 program leader Jeff Babione claimed that costs have already been cut: “Since the beginning, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to reduce the price of the airplane by about 70 percent since its original costing, and we project it to be about 85 million dollars in the 2019 or 2020 time frame.”
FYI, one theory roaming around on Twitter is that the stock price started falling shortly before Trump’s tweet. And that’s a whole other can of worms.