Tesla CEO Elon Musk exercised company options and sold the equivalent of about $ 1.1 billion in shares to cover tax liabilities, the billionaire reported Wednesday in a filing.

Musk exercised options to acquire nearly 2.2 million Tesla shares and then sold about 934,000 shares, roughly 0.5% of his Tesla stakes.

This move allows Musk to pay the taxes associated with exercising the options, given that his wealth, estimated by Forbes at US $ 281.6 billion, is linked to his stake in Tesla. It also saves you the capital gains taxes that you would have had to pay if you had sold the shares without tying your divestment to the exercise of the options.

The electric car maker’s shares rose 2% on the news, helping to offset a multi-day sale that had jeopardized the company’s position in the $ 1 trillion club.

On Saturday, Musk polled Twitter users about the possibility of selling 10% of his stake, sparking concerns that such a sale could hurt the share price. In Wednesday’s session, Tesla rallied 4.3% to $ 1,067.95.

In its filing, Tesla said Musk sold shares on Monday to meet tax withholding obligations related to exercising the call options of 2,154,572 shares at $ 6.24, a huge discount from the closing price. of Tesla shares on the same day, which was $ 1,068.

This you can buy with the fortune of Elon MuskIt sold 934,091 shares at prices that ranged from $ 1,135 to $ 1,196.

Although Tesla has lost about $ 150 billion in market value this week, retail investors have been net buyers of the shares. About 58% of Tesla’s trading orders on Fidelity’s brokerage website on Wednesday have been for purchases, not sales.

Retail investors made net purchases of $ 157 million on Monday and Tuesday, according to Vanda Research.

Tesla is up more than 51% in 2021, thanks in large part to a rebound in October fueled by a deal to sell 100,000 vehicles to car rental company Hertz.

“The company itself is on fire, with strong results,” said Tim Ghriskey, a senior strategist at investment management firm Ingalls and Snyder. “That is not going to go away fast.”

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