- The sale brings Musk’s total sale to nearly $40 billion
- Tesla shares mark their lowest close in two years
- Investors are frustrated with the sale of Musk and focus on Twitter
Dec 15 (Reuters) – Tesla (TLSA.O) chief Elon Musk on Wednesday revealed another $3.6 billion in stock sales, taking his total to nearly $40 billion this year and frustrating investors as shares company are wallowing at two-year lows.
A filing of US securities showed it dumped 22 million shares of the world’s most valuable automaker in three days Monday through Wednesday.
The sale is the second large chunk of the stock it has grossed since its $44 billion purchase of Twitter in October. It’s unclear whether the sales are related to the Twitter acquisition, but they’re annoying investors who are upset by the perception that it’s diverting its attention and resources to Twitter ahead of Tesla.
“He doesn’t put much faith in the business, nor does it say much about where his focus is,” said Tony Sycamore, an analyst at brokerage IG Markets, where Tesla is a popular stock with small investors.
“It’s not a good situation. I’ve talked to a lot of investors who have Tesla stock and they are absolutely furious at Elon.”
There was no immediate response to a Reuters request for comment from Tesla and Musk sent by email outside business hours. Musk’s 13.4% stake in Tesla is down from about 17% a year ago, according to data from Refinitiv.
Tesla’s stock price has halved this year, underperforming both the automakers (.SPLRCAUTM) and the broader Nasdaq (.IXIC), which is down about 30% this year. Musk’s total sales value over the past year comes to nearly $40 billion.
“It’s going to start to feel tiring for investors,” said Tareck Horchani, head of prime brokerage operations at Maybank Securities in Singapore.
Musk’s fortune, mostly tied to Tesla stock, has fallen with prices this year and he briefly lost the title of richest person in the world last week – according to Forbes – when he was surpassed by Louis Vuitton boss Bernard Arnault.
In addition to Tesla and Twitter, where Musk’s handling and tweets are attracting political attention and backlash, Musk also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that develops interfaces to connect human brains to computers.
Tesla, meanwhile, is grappling with persistent logistical challenges and said in October that it expects to fall short of its vehicle delivery goal this year. It is more profitable than rivals who have struggled to make a profit by selling electric cars.
The latest share sale comes a month after Musk sold $4 billion worth of shares in the days after the Twitter deal closed.
Tesla investor Ross Gerber, a strong supporter of Musk, said on Twitter that Tesla should announce a buyback “to take advantage of (sic) the low share price Elon has created.”
Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Additional writing and reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore. Editing by Devika Syamnath and Raju Gopalakrishnan
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