More than a week after he closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Tesla chief Elon Musk sold nearly $4 billion worth of shares in the electric car company, SEC filings showed Tuesday, surprising many investors who were expecting the stock sales from Musk, but before he finished his Twitter purchase.
According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s disclosure filings posted on Tuesday, Musk has been selling stock for the past three days and disclosed the sale of 19.5 million shares of Tesla in 38 separate transactions on Nov. 4, 7, and 8.
Between April and August, Musk sold about 17.6 million shares worth more than $15 billion in connection with his Twitter purchase, but although the Twitter deal is now done ending Musk’s need to sell stock to finance it, it’s hard to say if Musk’s selling is done because his highly unpredictable pattern of sales.
Excluding his stock options, Musk has about 446 million shares of Tesla left after these last sales, which is roughly 12% of Tesla’s stock outstanding.
The electric vehicle maker’s stock, which is down 45% this year, hit a new 52-week low when falling 2.9% during Tuesday’s trading session. As traders see selling pressure abating, however, Tesla shares might actually bounce after the sale.
In the few days following the Twitter deal closing on Oct. 27, Tesla stock actually rose about 2%.
There is, however, another development that might affect Tesla’s share value after the electric car company announced recalling just over 40,000 2017-2021 Model S and Model X vehicles.
They explain the recall pointing out that when driving on rough roads or after hitting a pothole, the car may experience a loss of power steering assist.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the loss of power steering assist is increasing the crash risks, especially at low speeds since it can require greater steering effort.
Though there are no injuries or deaths related to this condition yet, the Texas-based electric vehicle manufacturer had identified 314 vehicle alerts for this condition among US vehicles that may be related to the recall.
After it began rolling out an update on Oct. 11 to better detect unexpected steering assist torque, Tesla has released an over-the-air software update to recalibrate the system.
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