Tesla CEO Elon Musk Exercises More Options, Sells $973 Million in Stock for Taxes

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold another $973 million (roughly Rs. 7,245 crore) in stock to pay taxes after exercising options, filings showed after the electric vehicle maker’s shares rebounded during regular trade.

Musk acquired 2.1 million shares worth $2.2 billion (roughly Rs. 16,355 crore) at the Tuesday closing price and sold 934,091 for $973 million (roughly Rs. 7,230 crore) to pay taxes, the SEC filings showed.

In a sector surge spearheaded by Rivian and Lucid, Tesla rose 4.1 percent to close at $1,054.73 (roughly Rs. 78,430), leaving its market capitalisation down about $187 billion (roughly Rs. 13,90,560 crore) since before Musk began selling shares last week.

Rivian’s stock jumped 15 percent, with the EV maker now up over 120 percent since its initial public offer last Wednesday.

Rivian disclosed in a filing on Tuesday that its underwriters bought 22.95 million additional shares, boosting the total size of the IPO. Including those shares, Rivian’s market capitalization rose to $153 billion (roughly Rs. 11,37,640 crore), overtaking Volkswagen by $14 billion (roughly Rs. 1,04,100 crore) and making the Irvine, California, company the world’s third-most valuable carmaker. Tesla market cap eclipses that of top 8 rival carmakers combined.

Lucid surged nearly 24 percent after it said reservations for its cars rose to 13,000 in the third quarter and that it is confident it will produce 20,000 of its upcoming Lucid Air sedans in 2022.

The gain in Lucid’s shares elevated its stock market value to $90 billion (roughly Rs. 6,69,160 crore), overtaking Ford Motor and leaving it $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,435 crore) short of General Motors.

Over the past week, Musk has sold about 8.2 million Tesla shares for around $8.8 billion (roughly Rs. 65,430 crore). Those sales fulfill almost half of his pledge on Twitter to sell 10 percent of his stake in Tesla.

Musk began selling shares last week after floating the idea in a Twitter poll.

With electric-car makers increasingly in demand on Wall Street, Tesla’s stock has surged more than 150 percent in the past 12 months.

“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,” said Craig Erlam, senior market economist at OANDA.

“If you ask me where the share price is going to be six months from now, 12 months from now? I’d say it’s more likely to be 20 percent higher than 20 percent lower.”

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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