Musk Sells Additional Tesla Shares; Stock Slips


Shares of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) were down 2% during pre-market trading on November 15 after the company’s CEO, and major shareholder Elon Musk sold additional TSLA shares.

Following Musk’s infamous Twitter (TWTR) poll, which yielded a 57.9% positive response in favor of the CEO selling his TSLA stock to fund taxes, Tesla lost 12.5% value in the stock market last week.

Boasting a market cap of over $1 trillion, Tesla has gained nearly 41.6% year-to-date and over 153% over the past year.

What Happened

Last Week, Elon Musk sold a combined $6.9 billion worth of shares and stock options.

On Friday, a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing confirmed that Musk had offloaded an additional $687 million in Tesla stock. According to the filing, Musk sold 587,638 and 52,099 shares held by his trust in a series of transactions.

In the first round, Musk’s trust sold about 3.6 million shares worth around $4 billion. Even before the Poll results were out, Musk had sold 934,091 shares on November 8, as per an S-4 filing with the SEC.

Moreover, another filing stated that Musk exercised options on 2.1 million shares at $6.24 per share. Before the sale, Musk owned 23% of Tesla, including stock options.

Triggers

The sale follows Musk’s comments that he would have to exercise several stock options in the next three months, creating a tax bill of approximately $15 billion in August 2022. Musk concluded that selling his stake is the only way to fund tax payments, as he does not take any salary or bonus from any of his companies.

Musk initiated a Twitter poll in response to a proposal by Democratic lawmakers to tax the billionaire’s unrealized stock gains to finance President Joe Biden’s social spending bill. In his poll, Musk had asked his followers if he should sell about 10% of his shares (roughly 17 million shares) to pay taxes.

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Target Price

The Wall Street community has a Hold consensus rating on Tesla stock with 10 Buys, 6 Holds, and 7 Sells. At the time of writing, the average Tesla price target was $850.24, which implies 17.7% downside potential to current levels.

Website Traffic

TipRanks’ Website Traffic tool, which uses data from SEMrush Holdings (SEMR), the world’s biggest website usage monitoring service, offers insight into TSLA’s performance.

In October, Tesla website traffic recorded a 13.17% year-over-year decline in monthly visits. However, year-to-date website traffic growth increased 1.72% compared to the same period last year.

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