Elon Musk sells another $963 million of Tesla stock

Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 7, 2020.

Ding Ting | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Elon Musk is continuing to offload Tesla stock.

The tech billionaire sold 934,091 Tesla shares, according to financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission published late Thursday. The shares are worth $963.2 million.

Musk, who is the world’s richest man, also exercised stock options to purchase 2.17 million shares of Tesla, according to the filings.

Tesla’s share price was down over 1% in the pre-market trade on Friday, after slipping 6% in the previous session. The Friday fall also came off the back of a tweet where Musk said he’s thinking of quitting his jobs to become an influencer, although it was not clear if was being serious.

Last month, Musk sold a total of $9.85 billion in Tesla stock including the $6.9 billion he sold the week of Nov. 10 and another $1.9 billion he sold on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16. Some of the shares were sold in part to satisfy tax obligations related to an exercise of stock options.

On Nov. 6, Musk asked his 62.5 million Twitter followers to determine the future of a chunk of his Tesla holdings. In a Twitter poll, Musk said: “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?”

The CEO gave people the option to vote “Yes” or “No” and pledged to abide by the results of the poll, whichever way it went. Some 3,519,252 people responded, and 57.9% of them voted for “Yes.”

No matter the results of the Twitter poll, Musk would have likely started selling millions of shares this quarter. That’s because he’s facing a looming tax bill of more than $15 billion.

Musk previously said he was likely to sell “a huge block” of his shares in the fourth quarter. In September, Musk said at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California, that his marginal tax rate will be more than 50% when his stock options expire at Tesla, and that he was already planning to sell soon.

“I have a bunch of options that are expiring early next year, so … a huge block of options will sell in Q4 — because I have to or they’ll expire,” he said.

Other current and former Tesla board members, including Robyn DenholmKimbal MuskIra Ehrenpreis and Antonio Gracias have also offloaded hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Tesla shares since Oct. 28, as the company’s stock soared on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

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