Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) was down over 5% on Monday’s opening bell as Elon Musk’s Twitter poll over the weekend ended with a vote in favor of the CEO selling 10% of his TSLA stock. Based on Musk’s current holdings of about 170.5 million TSLA shares, a 10% sale of his stake in Tesla would be valued at about $21 billion.
Musk’s poll was triggered in part by recent conversations about billionaires’ unrealized gains being used as a means to avoid taxes. In a later tweet, Musk highlighted that he was prepared to accept the outcome of his crowdsourced survey, regardless of its results. Ultimately, a total of 3,519,252 votes were cast on Twitter over the weekend, 58% of which were in favor of the CEO selling 10% of his stake in Tesla.
Musk’s net worth stood at about $338 billion prior to Monday’s trading, as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. About 25% of this number is comprised of TSLA stock options that he is free to exercise at any time. The securities were from performance awards that he was granted in 2012 and 2018. The older contracts expire in August 2022, according to a Bloomberg report.
While the results of Musk’s Twitter poll appear to have adversely affected TSLA stock, Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives has stated that a 10% sale of the CEO’s stake in the EV maker would likely not alter Tesla’s story in any meaningful way. Ives noted that demand remains high for Tesla shares, both among retail and institutional investors.
“Selling 10% is probably going to add 1.5% to 2% to the float, so it doesn’t really significantly move the needle. I do believe that him doing it in this way definitely would soften the blow and would help the perception as well,” Ives stated.
Tesla shares have soared 73% this year, and as of November 5, the company has reached a valuation of $1.2 trillion. This rally effectively allowed Musk to become the world’s wealthiest person by net worth, but he was not the only one whose fortunes benefited from Tesla’s rise. On his way to becoming the richest person in the world, Musk has made millionaires out of Tesla shareholders, some of whom have opted to retire already.
One of these is Leo KoGuan, a Singapore-based retail investor who was able to amass more than $7 billion in Tesla shares. In a post on November 6, the retail investor noted that it’s time for Musk to sell some of his stake in the EV maker as it would allow him to pursue his other ventures. “Politically and from tax point of view and given that Elon is poor in cash, he has no choice but to sell his stakes to pay tax and to be cash-rich,” KoGuan stated.
Disclaimer: I am long TSLA.
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