Elon Musk took his Tesla shares on a selling spree this week, raking in more than $3 billion dollars in the sale.
Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk sold approximately 22 million Tesla shares, according to a “Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership” filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday night. The roughly $3.6 billion dollar sale took place over 30 total transactions that occurred between December 12-14.
Musk has sold off large portions of his Tesla stock holdings this year, despite tweeting that he was done selling his shares back in April. The total amount of Tesla shares sold by Musk in 2022 is 94,202,321, according to VerityData, an investment research management platform.
The repeat stock sales over the year have netted Musk a pretax value of approximately $22.93 billion.
“Musk’s prior sales going back to November 2021 were expertly timed, so Tesla shareholders need to pay attention to Musk’s actions and not his words — or lack thereof when it comes to his recent selling,” said Ben Silverman, director of research at VerityData, in an email note to CNBC.
Musk started dumping shares of Tesla in November 2021 following a Twitter poll to followers.
The nearly $4 billion sale occurred near the peak of last year’s bull-market run and right before the DOW and S&P 500 started their volatile trajectory downward. Musk’s sale was so expertly timed and well disguised through the Twitter poll that few but the SEC caught on to the fact that his brother, Kimbal Musk, was selling roughly $109 million worth of Tesla shares at the same time.
Since then, Tesla’s value as a company has plummeted, with shares down more than 50% year to date. In August, Tesla issued a three-for-one stock split in a move designed to “reward” current shareholders and attract new investors to the stock.
However, since Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October, shares have slid from $230 per share to the current price of $151.19 as of mid-afternoon on Friday.
Due to the sharp decline in Tesla’s market cap from the share-selloff, Musk, who used to be the world’s richest man, had the top spot overtaken, dropping his ranking to the world’s second richest person.