57.9% of people who voted on Elon Musk’s Twitter poll want him to sell about 10% of his Tesla stock. The world’s richest person had twitted on Saturday that he would offload 10% of his stock if users approved the proposal. Musk said he was prepared to accept either outcome after the voting ended. He had asked his 62.5 million Twitter followers to determine the future of a chunk of his holdings.
Musk, at the Code Conference in September, had said when his stock options expire at Tesla, his marginal tax rate will be over 50% and that he was already planning to sell soon. “I have a bunch of options that are expiring early next year, so a huge block of options will see in Q4 because I have to or they’ll expire,” he said.
The Tesla founder, as per the company’s filing, has an option to buy 22.86 million shares at $6.24 each, which expires on August 13 2022. This option exercise could lead to gains of roughly $28 billion on Tesla’s Friday closing price of $1,222.09.
“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this?” Musk added a poll function so users could vote a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Including stock options, Musk owns a 23% stake in Tesla, the world’s most valuable car company whose market value recently exceeded $1 trillion. He also owns other companies, including SpaceX.
Gary Black, portfolio manager, The Future Fund, said Musk’s potential stock sale would lead to 1-2 days of modest selling pressure, but there would be solid institutional demand to snap up the shares at a discount.
According to Ben Silverman, InsiderScore Director of Research, Tesla has just over one billion shares outstanding as of late October. He believes that if Musk exercised his options, the number of shares outstanding would increase by just over 2%. “Musk will likely continue to be vocal about what he’s doing, exercising the options because they are close to expiration, selling stock because of the enormous tax bill and because of the liquidity of Tesla shares,” Silverman explained.
About a week ago, Musk had twitted that he would sell $6 billion in Tesla stock and donate it to the United Nations’ World Food Program, provided the organization disclosed more information about it spent its money.