The big Tesla sell-off is continuing as the enigmatic chief executive Elon Musk shifts another billion dollars worth of company stock.
Elon Musk has sold an additional 934,091 shares for $1.05 billion, according to regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission late on Nov 23.
The billionaire CEO also exercised 2.15 million stock options according to reports, and the sales were made to cover taxes. Musk has now shifted around 9.2 million shares and has collected roughly $9.9 billion of proceeds.
On Nov 7 Musk polled his 64 million Twitter followers proposing to sell 10% of his stock. Just under 58% of the 3.5 million respondents said that he should sell. To reach that threshold, Musk would need to sell around 17 million shares or about 1.7% of the company’s outstanding stock. He has currently offloaded more than half of that proposed 10%.
In response to the poll at the time, he commented, “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.”
TSLA stock slides
Tesla stock fell 5.5% on Tuesday from around $1,170 to $1,109 and then a little further to $1,101 in after-hours trading according to MarketWatch. TSLA stock hit an all-time high of $1,230 on Nov 4, and it is currently around 10.5% down from that peak.
Craig Erlam, the senior market economist at OANDA, said “There’s still plenty of buying interest because I still think ultimately investors are viewing this as a phase and viewing pullbacks as an opportunity,”
Musk, who is against any heavy-handed crypto regulations, has made no further efforts to purchase any more bitcoin. According to BitcoinTreasuries, Tesla currently holds 43,200 BTC worth an estimated $2.45 billion at current prices. The firm has made almost a billion dollars in profit from its original BTC purchases earlier this year.
Battling with Binance
The outspoken entrepreneur has been getting into a war of words on Twitter with Binance boss Changpeng Zhao. On Nov 23 Musk wrote:
“Hey @cz_binance, what’s going on with your Doge customers? Sounds shady.”
Binance suspended Dogecoin withdrawals on Nov 11 due to a glitch during an update. Apparently, CZ didn’t appreciate being called “shady” and responded with “Well, I don’t intend to be sassy on Twitter… In his tweet he said I am shady,” before stating:
“I’m not aggressive by nature, but I also am not submissive or cowardly when it comes to defending our business. I view defending Binance as my job and defending… the crypto industry as my life’s mission.”
“I am not against him personally,” CZ added in reference to Musk, before clarifying “I don’t take it personally. I feel this is like a bit of friendly banter and it gives the Twitter community a little bit of entertainment.”