Just a few days ago Elon Musk put out a controversial poll on Twitter expressing his intention to sell 10% of his holdings in Tesla. The act, however, cost the company nearly $50 billion in just one day. Many tagged the polling tweet as another act from Elon Musk who likes the stock market dance on his tweets. But now it appears that Elon Musk was quite serious about his intentions.
Elon Musk, Chief Executive Offer – Tesla, reportedly sold approximately $5 billion worth of his shares on Wednesday, days after the controversial Twitter poll.
So far, Elon has sold nearly 4.5 million shares of his holding in Tesla. Musk’s trust was able to sell nearly 3.6 million shares of Tesla in its first share sale since 2016. It also sold another slot of 934,000 shares, which was worth $1.1 billion. He also exercised options to purchase nearly 2.2 million shares.
Forbes estimates that the 4.5 million shares represent 3% of his total holdings of the electric vehicle manufacturing company Tesla. However, this is a large portion of his $282 billion fortune.
Last Saturday Musk polled Twitter users asking their views on his intention to sell 10% of his stake. As a consequence, Tesla’s share prices tanked but most Twitter users agreed with the sale.
After a multi-day selloff, the stock of Tesla fell 12% on Tuesday. However, it quickly recovered 4.3% on Wednesday maintaining its place in the trillion clubs. The market cap of Tesla has been hovering $1.1 trillion for the last few days.
According to the filing, options-related sales were arranged in September using a trading plan that allows corporate employees to set up preplanned transactions according to a schedule. Taxes were paid for by the sales of option-related shares. It was, however, not clear whether or not the Twitter poll results played any role in Musk’s trading plan.
Musk’s wealth, which is heavily tied to his shares in SpaceX and Tesla, was separate from the additional share sales.
Musk holds more than 20,000,000 stock options, which will expire in August next year.
Had Musk executed a 10% stock sale plan it would have a negative impact on the near-term, according to Mark Arnold, a chief investment officer of Hyperion Asset Management Brisbane, which has Tesla as the largest holding in its global fund.
“But the stock is pretty liquid and its not a huge percentage of total issued shares, so it shouldn’t have that much of an impact … we’re quite comfortable with the outlook for the business,” he said.
The market valuation of Tesla dropped $150 billion this week. However, retail investors are net buyers of the stock. Fidelity’s brokerage website showed that 58% of Tesla’s trade orders were for purchase.
According to Vanda Research, retail investors made net purchases of tesla shares worth $157 million on Monday and Tuesday.
Tesla is up more than 51% in 2021 thanks to an October rally that was fueled largely by an agreement to sell 100,000 cars to Hertz (HERTZ.UL).
Elon Musk, who became the world’s richest person, albeit briefly, for the very first time in January, is now, even more, richer than ever before. Soon he leapfrogged Jeff Bezos once again to claim the pole position in the list of the world’s richest people and now maintains a distinct margin with a gap of nearly $80 billion. Elon added another feather in his cap when his net worth surpassed $300 billion in October last.