Tesla stock came under pressure on Monday after millions of Twitter users surveyed by CEO Elon Musk concluded that he should sell 10 percent of its stake in the electric car maker.
The 24-hour poll, conducted over the weekend, is Musk’s latest stunt to delight fans but risk controversy. Announcing the poll on Saturday, Musk said on Twitter that he would stick to the result.
The decision of the Tesla boss to disclose to the Twitter sphere whether shares valued at more than 20 billion
Earlier on Monday in New York, Musk had 62.7 million Twitter followers to respond to a poll in which 58 percent of 3.5 million voters said the entrepreneur should sell the stake.
Tesla shares, which rose nearly 70 percent this year and catapulted the group’s value above $ 1 trillion, fell 5 percent in early New York trading.
The online survey shared the opinion. Some touted the potential benefits of selling Musk, while others speculated that the 50-year-old, whose Twitter dwarfs that of other corporate leaders, was simply seeking support for a sale he might have wanted to make anyway.
“On the surface, this is great news, you get more cash and a billionaire paying taxes,” said Philippe Houchois, an automotive analyst at Jefferies who believes Musk will deliver on his sales promise.
It “would be harmful” [Musk’s] Image if it didn’t, ”Houchois went on to sell the shares.
Musk announced at a conference in September that he would likely sell stocks in the fourth quarter as he had options that expire early next year.
If he moves on, the vote will put a huge block of Tesla stock on the market. Based on Friday’s closing price, Musk’s 17 percent stake in Tesla was worth $ 208 billion. He did not say when and how he would sell the shares.
The meteoric surge in Tesla stock earned Musk billions of dollars through a controversial compensation package agreed three years ago that allowed him to exercise large tranches of stock options if the automaker meets certain performance targets and its shares hit predetermined levels.
The Tesla boss also said earlier this month he was ready to sell $ 6 billion worth of shares and donate the proceeds to the World Food Program, but only if the organization told him how it would use the money, to end poverty.
Musk, who currently calls himself “Lorde Edge” on the platform, has differentiated his use of Twitter from other executives, but also checked it by the supervisory authorities, in particular because of a tweet from 2018 that he had “secured the financing”, to keep the company private.
In 2019, Musk agreed to an agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on new restrictions on his use of social media.
Jefferies’ Houchois reckoned that Musk would “push the boundaries” on social media because “nothing has really been blown up so far”.
With reporting from Richard Waters in San Francisco