Elon Musk dumped Tesla stock just before the bad news broke

Elon Musk dumped Tesla stock just before the bad news broke

“This should be of great interest to the SEC.”

convenient time

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold nearly $3.6 billion of his shares in the electric vehicle maker in December, just before the company disclosed disappointing fourth-quarter results to investors. The Wall Street Journal reports.

It has to make you wonder: Did Musk know that the company’s share price was about to crash, something that might be of interest to financial regulators?

“This should be of great interest to the [Securities and Exchange Commission]James Cox, professor of securities law at Duke University, told wsj. “The issue here is, what did he know and what was the market anticipating when he sold? That’s a critical moment.”

SEC Conference

It would be far from the first time the billionaire CEO and the regulator have clashed. Musk has repeatedly undermined the authority of the SEC, going so far as to say outright that he doesn’t “respect the SEC” in a 2018 interview.

In fact, Musk had to go to court earlier this week over a now-infamous 2018 tweet in which he said he had “funds secured” to take Tesla private, a move that triggered a lengthy investigation by the SEC.

Musk later settled and agreed to pay a $40 million penalty, but the lawsuit filed by investors is still ongoing.

Insider Who?

Musk sold 22 million shares at $163 in mid-December. The value of the shares plummeted to just over $108 on January 3. In effect, the value of the shares he sold was reduced by $1.2 billion, the wsj reports.

Despite a disastrous 2022, Tesla stock has rallied somewhat and is trading around $130 as of this writing.

The news comes after Musk invested heavily in his own Tesla stock largely to finance just over half of the $44 billion he spent to buy Twitter.

Musk’s inflammatory rhetoric and the chaotic leadership of the social media company has only further angered Tesla shareholders.

Tesla shares plunged a staggering 65 percent last year, resulting in Musk setting a Guinness World Record for the most money a single human has ever lost, wiping out an estimated net worth of $200 billion.

But whether Musk broke any regulatory laws with his latest Tesla sale in December, or whether it was a desperate move to keep the lights on at Twitter, remains to be seen.

The news, however, won’t do him or his already tarnished car brand any good.

READ MORE: Elon Musk sold Tesla shares before the company recognized its weakness [The Wall Street Journal]

More about Tesla: Elon Musk’s lawyers say San Francisco hates him too much to get a fair trial

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