UNITED STATES: Tesla owner Elon Musk has sold another 22 million shares worth $3.58 billion (£2.9 billion), upsetting investors as the company’s shares languish at two-year lows.
The shares of the gigantic automaker firm were unloaded over three days, from Monday to Wednesday this week, as shown by a filing with the U.S. financial regulator.
The sale marks Musk’s second-biggest chunk of stock cash-out following his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October.
Although it is unclear whether the transactions are connected to the Twitter purchase, they upset investors who believe he prioritizes Twitter above Tesla in terms of concentration and resources.
Tony Sycamore, an analyst at stockbroker IG Markets, where Tesla is a well-liked stock among novice investors, said: “It doesn’t put a lot of faith in the firm or speak volumes for where his attention is at.”
Both Tesla and Musk did not respond right away when asked for comment. According to data from Refinitiv, Musk now owns 13.4% less of Tesla than he did a year ago—down from roughly 17%.
Tesla’s stock price has fallen by half this year, underperforming both auto manufacturers (.SPLRCAUTM) and the broader technology-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC), which is down around 30% this year. Over the past year, Musk’s sales have totaled close to $40 billion in value.
“It will start to be tiring for investors,” stated Tareck Horchani, head of prime brokerage trading at Maybank Securities in Singapore.
Along with Tesla and Twitter, where Musk’s leadership and tweets are drawing criticism from the political establishment, he also runs SpaceX, a rocket firm, and Neuralink, a startup that creates interfaces to link the human brain to computers.
Meanwhile, Tesla continued to have logistical issues and announced in October that it anticipated missing the deadline for the delivery of vehicles this year. It is more profitable than competitors, who have difficulty turning a profit from the sale of electric vehicles.
The purchase of Twitter was eventually consummated after months of legal struggle, and some claim that the takeover’s distraction was a factor in the falling value of Tesla’s stock.
Investors worry that demand for the company’s electric vehicles may slow down if the economy weakens, higher financing prices put buyers off, and competitors expand their electric vehicle offerings.
Tesla’s autopilot system, recalls, and government inquiries into crashes have affected the company.
This week, Musk lost his title as the richest person in the world after a huge fall in the value of his Tesla stock this year. He was surpassed in the top rank, per Forbes and Bloomberg, by Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury goods company LVMH.
As per Forbes, Musk is now worth $174 billion, and Arnault is worth close to $191 billion.