Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced another $3.6 billion worth of stock sales Wednesday. This brings his total to nearly $40 billion for the year. Investors are disappointed as Tesla’s shares slump at their two-year lows.
According to a U.S. securities filing, he sold 22 million shares of the most valued carmaker in the world over three days starting Monday and ending Wednesday.
This sale marks the second large stock purchase he’s made since October’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. He had repeatedly assured that he would not sell Tesla shares again in April.
Although it is not clear whether the Twitter purchase is related, they have annoyed investors because of the perception that he has shifted his resources and focus to Twitter over Tesla.
Tony Sycamore of brokerage IG Markets said that Tesla stock is not popular among small-time investors.
It’s not a great situation. Many investors have Tesla shares, and many of them are furious with Elon.
A Reuters request for comment by Tesla was not immediately answered. Musk emailed after business hours to get a response. According to Refinitiv data, Musk’s stake of 13.4% in Tesla has fallen from 17% last year.
Tesla stock rose by about 1% on Thursday morning trading. This is despite it having halved in the year. It has underperformed both automakers, and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq, which are down around 30%.
Musk has sold nearly $40 billion in total over the last year.
Tareck Horchani of Maybank Securities, Singapore’s head for prime brokerage deals said that “it will begin to be tiring investors.”
Musk had sold $4 billion worth of shares just a few days before this latest sale.
Ross Gerber is a Tesla investor and strong Musk supporter. He tweeted that Tesla should be announcing a buyback to “take advantage of Elon’s low share price.”
Musk has lost a lot of his fortune in Tesla shares and was briefly displaced by Bernard Arnault, Louis Vuitton boss.
Twitter is seeing advertisers leave amid concerns about Musk’s strategy to monitor tweets. This could impact revenues as well as its ability to repay interest on $13 billion of debt Musk took out for this deal.
Investors claim that his controversial tweets could also damage Tesla’s brand and reduce sales.
“Investors are concerned about demand, pricing, auto-GMs (gross margins) and Twitter distraction/overhang/impact on Tesla brand,” said RBC Capital Markets, slashing its price target by $100 to $225.
Tesla faces macroeconomic challenges that affect demand for their expensive vehicles. To boost its demand, the company offers discounts in China and the United States.
Musk stated Tuesday that Tesla would be great in the long term, but it doesn’t have control over macroeconomic tides.