Musk’s filings did not disclose the reason for the stock sale. But after someone on Twitter asked him if he was done selling Tesla stock, he replied, “Yes,” and then pointed to the possibility of being forced to buy Twitter as the reason for this latest sale.
When someone else asked on Twitter Tuesday if he would buy back Tesla stock if the Twitter deal doesn’t close, he replied, “Yes.”
“This is the last thing Tesla investors wanted to see,” said Daniel Ives, technical analyst for Wedbush Securities. “The biggest fear has been that Musk will sell more shares, and that’s what just happened. It’s a short-term gut punch. There’s no explanation, and it adds to the uncertainty.”
Even with the latest share sales, Musk owns 155 million shares of Tesla, and has options to buy nearly 100 million more at a fraction of today’s prices. The shares he owns, combined with the options he has to buy other shares, give him control of about 20% of Tesla’s outstanding shares. And the 7.9 million shares he just sold represent less than 3% of the stock and options he holds.