Investor's Corner

Tesla tumbles 12% without any confirmation of Musk selling stock

Tesla stock (NASDAQ: TSLA) tumbled 12% on Tuesday, a drop for the second consecutive trading day and the automaker’s biggest loss on Wall Street since March. Although CEO Elon Musk hinted toward selling 10% of his holdings this past weekend, there has been no confirmation as of 4:30 PM ET that Musk has offloaded over 17 million shares.

All stock sales that involve anyone who is considered an “insider,” which would include Tesla’s board members, must be documented with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. The SEC has not documented any stock sale on Musk’s part. The last sale that took place was last Friday, when Musk’s brother, Kimbal, sold over $108 million worth of Tesla shares.

This past weekend, Elon Musk proposed selling 10% of his Tesla holdings to pay capital gains taxes. “Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” Musk Tweeted around 3:15 PM EST on Saturday. “I will abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes,” Musk added. “Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock.”

The poll ended Sunday and accumulated over 3.5 million votes. It ended with 57.9% of participants voting “Yes,” meaning Musk will eventually sell shares. However, Musk never outlined when the shares would be sold, although many observers of Tesla stock indicated that daily trading volume was above average. Noted Tesla bull and analyst Gary Black stated that Tesla’s trading volume over the past 20 days has been around 20 million. On Tuesday, volume was above 58.2 million. The stock’s average volume is just under 22 million shares.

Tesla stock closed at $1,023.50, down 11.99%. After-hours trading also contributed to a slight loss, but the loss was minimal. Tesla stock was only down .5% at the time of writing, trading at $1,019.49.

Tesla stock is still up 40.25% on the year, or $293.73.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.

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Tesla tumbles 12% without any confirmation of Musk selling stock
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