Elon Musk Sells $1 Billion in Tesla Stock to Cover Tax Bill

The sale was far short of the $20 billion worth he promised over the weekend that he would sell.


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Elon Musk sells $1 billion in Tesla shares to cover taxes on stock options.

Elon Musk asked his Twitter followers whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock, referring to a debate over how the wealthiest Americans should be taxed.Credit…Aly Song/Reuters

Nov. 10, 2021, 7:11 p.m. ET

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, sold about $1.1 billion worth of Tesla stock on Wednesday to cover his tax obligations after exercising options on a much larger tranche of stock.

In total, Mr. Musk sold 934,091 shares on Wednesday, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While Tesla shares closed trading on Wednesday at $1,067.95, which would bring the value of those shares to about $1 billion, some shares were sold for slightly more than that.

In the filings, Mr. Musk said he had sold the shares “solely” to cover taxes on 2,154,572 shares he picked up at $6.24 each. Those shares he acquired, for a total of $13.4 million, were instantly worth about $2.3 billion.

Mr. Musk still owns about 17 percent of Tesla’s stock, shares worth about $200 billion. Tesla recently passed $1 trillion in market valuation.

Over the weekend, Mr. Musk posted a poll to Twitter asking his followers whether he should sell 10 percent of his stock, referring to a political debate over whether the wealthiest Americans should be taxed according to their wealth rather than their income. He said he would abide by whatever respondents chose, and about 58 percent said to sell. But after the sale on Wednesday, he still owns more options than he had last week.

Tesla’s shares were up slightly in aftermarket trading.

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