Tesla stock falls after Musk sells further shares for $3.58 billion.
Before the start of trading on Thursday, shares of Tesla were falling after it was revealed that CEO Elon Musk had sold further shares of the electric vehicle manufacturer this week for $3.58 billion.
In premarket trade, the stock dropped to $153, approaching two-year lows.
According to a filing made Wednesday night by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk, the new owner of Twitter, sold the shares from Monday through Wednesday. It was unclear how the money was being used.
Since April, Musk has sold roughly $23 billion worth of Tesla stock, with the majority of the proceeds likely going toward his $44 billion purchase of Twitter. According to regulatory documents, he sold Tesla shares worth close to $4 billion at the beginning of the month.
The transaction occurs as shares of the manufacturer of solar panels and electric vehicles have plummeted, dropping more than half of their value since Musk first revealed in April that he was accumulating Twitter stock.
Concerns have been raised as Musk appears to be shifting the focus of the Tesla story away from the fundamental transformation of the electric vehicle industry and toward being a source of funding to support his acquisition of Twitter, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a client note.
The Twitter nightmare continues as Musk uses Tesla as his own ATM machine to maintain paying the platform’s negative cash flow, which is getting worse by the day as more advertisers abandon it due to the Musk-driven scandal, Ives said.
According to Forbes, Musk’s net worth dropped to $174 billion as a result of the plummeting Tesla stock, knocking him off the list of the richest people in the world. French fashion and cosmetics tycoon Bernard Arnault passed away last week. Tesla Inc. stock is where the majority of Musk’s fortune is invested.
The acquisition of Twitter has not gone well, and some major corporations have stopped running advertisements on the social media site. According to Musk, the loss of advertisers caused “a significant decline in revenue” for Twitter.
Since Musk has been spending a lot of time managing Twitter, investors have been penalizing Tesla shares, fueling concerns that he is neglecting his duties at the automaker.
The Trust and Safety Council, a group of over 100 independent civil rights, human rights, and other groups founded by Twitter in 2016 to address issues including hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm, and other issues on the platform, has now been disbanded.