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Elon Musk’s latest round of Tesla stock sale has brought total sales over the past four weeks to 10 million shares worth around $10.9 billion, as the EV manufacturer’s CEO is looking to offset taxes on the exercising of options to buy 2.1 million shares.
Just this week, Musk sold another 934,000 shares in Tesla worth about $1.01 billion, according to regulatory filings cited by Bloomberg. This brought the total number of shares disposed since early November at 10 million.
In early November, Musk said he would sell 10 percent of his stake in Tesla if his Twitter followers approved such a sale.
Tesla’s chief executive took to Twitter to poll his followers about whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock. The poll said yes.
“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?” Musk tweeted on November 6.
According to the poll results, 57.9 percent were in favor of this move, with 42.1 percent against it. Ten percent of Tesla stock would be worth some $21 billion.
Musk would need to sell another at least 7 million shares, on top of the 10 million Tesla shares he has already sold, to reach that 10 percent.
According to estimates made by Bloomberg News, if Tesla’s chief executive does sell 10 percent of his shares in the company, he could reduce his tax bill by more than $2 billion after he moved to Texas from California. Texas does not have state income tax or a capital gains tax on individuals, unlike California, which taxes its rich people with the highest income taxes in the U.S.
Since Musk first said he would sell 10 percent of his holding in Tesla in early November, Tesla’s stock has dropped by 10 percent—from $1,222 on the day before the Twitter poll to $1,084 at close on Thursday, December 2.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.