Elon Musk Sold $5 Billion In Tesla Stock This Week As Shares Plunged Following Twitter Poll

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, is the world’s wealthiest person. According to new regulatory filings, he sold a huge chunk of stock to help pay taxes for options he received more than a decade back. This was just days after Musk suggested he would sell the rare stock to fund his tax plan.

In two Filings, Musk was made public Wednesday evening by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He disclosed that he had exercised close to 2.2 million stock options valued at $2.2 billion. On Monday, Musk paid $13.4 million. Then, he sold approximately 934,000 shares for $1.1 billion. A series of filings released Wednesday night shows Musk having sold an additional 3.6 million shares at an average of $1,070 over two days. This was due to speculation about possible sales.

These sales follow Musk’s Saturday call to Twitter users to determine whether to sell 10% or 23% of his Tesla stake. This was in response to a temporary legislative proposal that would tax billionaires unrealized stock gains to curb ultra-wealthy tax avoidance.

Although users overwhelmingly voted to make the sale of Musk, footnotes from Wednesday’s regulatory filings show that Musk in September had planned to offload his initial tranche of shares (worth $1.1billion) to pay for the options due to expire next January.

The transactions this week combine to make up about 3% of Musk’s overall stake. Musk still has approximately 168,000,000 Tesla shares.

Musk didn’t immediately respond to Forbes’s request for comment. However, the average share price was $1,070–securing a near 160% rise in shares prices over the past year, but still 13% below the record set on Thursday.

This is only the third sale of Tesla stock by Musk since the company went public in 2010. It’s his most significant transaction. Musk sold less than a 1.4million shares slightly in July 2010 for $24million, and another 2.7million shares for $593million in 2016.

One of the nearly successful shares of the last year, Tesla shares have suffered significant losses this week. Musk’s tweets caused concern among investors that share prices might hold up during liquidation. The stock had fallen 13% since its peak last week. This represents approximately $163 billion in market capital that’s been wiped out. Tesla’s value remains at $1.1 trillion despite this decline. After closing at roughly $1,068 per share on Wednesday, the stock gained 2.7% trading after-hours.

$281.6 trillion This is Musk’s estimated value as of Wednesday’s closing market before accounting for the option exercises and subsequent large-scale sale.

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Robert Scoble
Robert is the assistant managing editor for HC News, overseeing coverage of markets, companies, strategy and business leaders. Originally from Boston, Scoble began his journalism career in 1997 & now resides outside New York.

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