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Elon Musk Dumps More Tesla Stock—Lifting Total Sales To Nearly $6 Billion This Week

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Elon Musk continued to offload shares of Tesla this week after pledging to abide by the results of a Twitter poll and sell 10% of his stake, and though the world’s richest person has sold a hefty stake, he’s still far from completing his promise.

Key Facts

In two regulatory filings released Friday morning, Musk disclosed the sale of another 639,737 Tesla shares on Thursday for combined proceeds of about $687.3 million, before taxes. 

The 50-year-old previously sold roughly $5 billion worth of stock between Monday and Wednesday, meaning his overall sales this week have totaled nearly $5.7 billion, though he’s pocketed much less as a result of taxes. 

The ongoing sales come after Musk on Saturday asked Twitter users whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stake in response to a short-lived legislative proposal that would have taxed billionaires’ unrealized stock gains to help curb tax avoidance among the ultrawealthy.

Users overwhelmingly voted for Musk to make the sale, but transactions thus far have represented less than 4% of his stake, meaning he’s far from the supposed goal; he still owns roughly 167 million shares. 

It’s still unclear whether Musk, who didn’t immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment, will keep selling stock, but in a Thursday note, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said the 10% sale seemed to be “all in motion.”

Ives said the transactions should start to remove an overhang from stock prices as Musk pushes to fulfill a more than $10 billion tax bill from stock options coming due next year, but he expects volatility will continue until Musk completes the sales.

Key Background

Before this week, Musk had sold Tesla stock twice since the company went public on the Nasdaq exchange in 2010. In July 2010, Musk sold slightly more than 1.4 million shares for $24 million, and in 2016, he sold another 2.7 million shares for about $593 million.

Big Number

$278.8 billion. That’s how much Musk was worth as of Thursday’s market close—before accounting for the latest sales. 

What To Watch For

How Tesla stock prices respond to Musk’s ongoing sales. Thus far, Ives said the sales have been “digested well” by the market, with prices rising 4% Thursday to close at about $1,063. Despite recouping some losses, shares are still down nearly 14% from a closing high last Thursday and have fallen another 1% in pre-market trading Friday.

Tangent

Elon isn’t the only Musk getting rich off—and selling—Tesla shares. His youngest brother, Kimbal Musk, was an early investor and has served on Tesla’s board for about 17 years. Since the electric car maker’s trading debut in 2010, he has sold nearly $230 million worth of Tesla shares before taxes, including a massive sale last Friday. 

Further Reading

Elon Musk Sold $5 Billion In Tesla Stock This Week As Shares Plunged Following Twitter Poll (Forbes)

The Other Musk Getting Rich Off Tesla: Elon’s Youngest Brother (Forbes)

Tesla Stock Wipes $140 Billion In Worst One-Day Decline This Year After Elon Musk Teases Massive Sale (Forbes)