Tesla stock price drops on the New York Stock Exchange. At 5:33 p.m. in Lisbon, the unit price per security fell 2.6% to $1,187.39, after the week hit a new peak two weeks ago, bringing the company to a market capitalization of $1.2 billion.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk faces a tax bill of more than $15 billion in stock options over the next few months, and thus is preparing to sell more of Tesla’s capital.
Musk asked his 62.7 million Twitter followers over the weekend if he should sell his 10% stake in the automaker. He wrote on the social network: “I propose to sell 10% of my shares in Tesla”
The Tesla CEO said he would “respect the results of this survey, whatever the direction.” 58% of followers voted for the sale and 42% against it, so everything indicates that the deal will materialize.
Since the start of the quarter, Musk has sold millions of shares, to pay an envelope of tax debt, in the order of $15 billion.
The 2012 award was 22.8 million shares, with a target price of $6.24 per share. Tesla’s shares closed at $1,222.09 on Friday, which means that its stock gains total just under $28 billion.
The company also recently revealed that Musk has taken out loans using its stock as collateral, and with the sales, Musk may want to repay some of those loan obligations.
As Tesla noted in its latest report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, “If the price of our common stock drops significantly, one or more of Mr Musk’s banking institutions may have to sell Tesla common stock to meet his obligations if you are unable to do so by other means.” Any such sale could cause a further decline in the price of our common stock.”
Options expire in August of next year. However, to exercise it, Musk must pay capital gains tax.
Under US tax rules, Musk’s capital gains will be taxed at 37% plus a net investment tax of 3.8%, plus a regional rate of 13.3% in California.
Together, the federal and state tax rate would be 54.1%. So the total tax bill on your options, at the current rate, would be $15 billion.
Musk did not confirm how much account he would have to pay, only confirming on Twitter that “since I don’t get paid I have to pay taxes and sell my shares.”
“Wannabe internet buff. Future teen idol. Hardcore zombie guru. Gamer. Avid creator. Entrepreneur. Bacon ninja.”