Elon Musk Sells Billions More in Tesla Stock, Continues to Break a Broken Promise
Photo: Noam Galai (Getty Images)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reportedly sold off another $3.58 billion of the automaker’s stock. That brings the total amount of stock he sold since late last year to right around $40 billion. That $3.58 billion comes out to about 22 million shares.
As Bloomberg points out, the selloff comes at the same time Musk lost the title of richest person in the world. In a series of Ls that keep racking up for Musk, those 22 million shares aren’t worth what they used to be. Tesla’s market value has now dropped below the $500 billion mark for the first time since November of 2020.
News about the stock offload didn’t help the price, either. According to Bloomberg, after the disclosure was announced, Tesla shares fell by as much as 3.5 percent premarket, though it is up 1.6 percent as of this writing. Still, Tesla’s stock is down around 51 percent on the year, and much of that has come since Musk took control of Twitter a few months ago.
This is just the latest in a series of stock sell-offs that Musk promised not to make, but Bloomberg reports that ever-increasing financial pressure at Twitter are sort of forcing his hand here. Twitter is hemorrhaging advertisers as it tries to gain revenue from subscription fees that have – you guessed it – backfired pretty mightily. To help with this mounting pressure, Musk first sold off about $15 billion before the Twitter acquisition was finalized. He then sold off another $8.5 billion in April, $6.9 billion in August, and an additional $3.95 billion in November.
Musk layered a significant amount of high-interest debt on Twitter’s balance sheet as part of his buyout. The company’s debt load swelled to about $13 billion — up from $1.7 billion pre-deal — and it’s now facing annual interest payments approaching $1.2 billion. Its borrowing could get even more expensive because the interest rates on about half of that debt aren’t locked in and will rise with the market.
According to Bloomberg, this latest sale has shrunk Musk’s stake in the company to just about 13 percent. Despite the low-ish number, in June, Musk said that his money will be the “last out.”