Elon Musk polled his Twitter followers last weekend about whether he should sell Tesla Inc. stock, but his plans to sell were already in progress.
Filings made public by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday afternoon showed Musk selling more than 930,000 shares of Tesla
out of more than 2.1 million options he exercised at a price of $6.24 a share. Musk sold the shares for more than $1,100 and less than $1,200 apiece as Tesla shares dipped 4.8% on Monday, collecting roughly $1.102 billion.
The electric-car company’s chief executive made the plans to sell the stock on Sept. 14, according to the SEC filings. Musk asked his more than 60 million Twitter followers whether he should sell Tesla stock over the weekend, but had previously acknowledged that tax bills and expiring options would force him to sell some stock this year. More than 3.5 million votes were cast, with “yes” winning.
“The shares of common stock were sold solely to satisfy the reporting person’s tax withholding obligations related to the exercise of stock options,” the filing read.
Musk still holds more than 170 million Tesla shares, a stake worth nearly $200 billion that gives him roughly 17% ownership of the company, according to FactSet. He stands to collect much more in the years ahead from performance awards he received in 2018 with qualifying benchmarks set around market capitalization and other factors.
Tesla is expected to break $50 billion in annual sales for the first time this year, after growing revenue more than 28% and eclipsing $30 billion for the first time in 2020. Last year was also the first profitable year in Tesla’s history, and the company maintained profitability long enough to gain acceptance to the S&P 500 index
earlier this year.
Tesla stock has increased more than 160% in the past year and nearly 1,500% in the past two years total, pushing the company’s market cap past $1 trillion, a level previously reserved for Big Tech stalwarts Apple Inc.
The car maker’s success has spurred traditional automotive companies to develop plans for electric automobiles, and spurred Wall Street to fund potential rivals such as Rivian Automotive Inc.
which went public on Wednesday and neared a $100 billion market cap before generating nominal revenue.
See also: 5 things to know about Rivian
Tesla shares gained 2.7% in after-hours trading Wednesday following the release of the SEC filings that detailed the sale.