Musk sells Tesla shares at market prices, buys them right back for peanuts

Tesla CEO Elon Musk continues to offload his company’s shares, selling another bulk worth $963.2 million, according to Thursday regulatory filings. However, the billionaire bought back Tesla shares for pennies on the dollar.

In his latest exercise of options, the tech billionaire sold 934,091 Tesla shares for more than $1,000 per share. However, he also purchased another 2.2 million Tesla shares for $6.24 apiece, according to the filings. Musk doesn’t receive a salary or cash bonuses from his company, so he can only pay his taxes by selling stocks. He is also allowed by the company board of directors to purchase Tesla shares at significantly lower prices.

Last month, Musk, who’s facing a looming tax bill of more than $15 billion, asked his Twitter followers if he should sell stock and pay taxes on unrealized capital gains. His followers voted ‘yes’ and as a result, he has sold more than 10 million shares worth over $11 billion.

In September, Musk said at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills, California that his marginal tax rate will be more than 50% when his stock options expire at Tesla, and that he was already planning to sell soon.

“I have a bunch of options that are expiring early next year, so … a huge block of options will sell in Q4 – because I have to or they’ll expire,” he said.

At his current pace of exercising, there are about three weeks left before Musk will be done with those options.Tesla shares slid 1% on news of the sale, trading at around $1,002 per share in pre-market on Friday, after dropping 6% in the previous session. The fall also followed a tweet in which Musk said he was thinking of quitting his jobs to become an influencer.

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