After Musk sold the shares, Tesla stock experienced its worst week in 20 months

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SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures during a conversation at the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles on June 13, 2019.

Mike Black | Reuters

Tesla shares fell 15.4% After CEO Elon Musk began planning to sell a large number of his shares this week, the week ended Friday’s close.

This is Tesla’s worst weekly performance in 20 months and the worst week in the stock’s history, excluding the turbulent decline in the market in February 2020 and March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

Tesla closed down 2.8% on Friday.

According to financial documents released on Friday morning, Musk still holds more than 167 million Tesla shares and sold approximately $5.7 billion worth of shares this week.

Part of the reason Musk sold the stock was to fulfill the tax obligations associated with the exercise of stock options. Before his sale plan was made public, Musk asked his 62.5 million Twitter followers to vote in an informal poll, telling them that their vote will determine the future of his Tesla shares. This week’s documents show that, in fact, he knows that some of his shares will be sold this week.

Tesla shares are still up about 46% After a record closing price of US$1,229.91 on November 4, 2021, year-to-date.

In contrast, Ford shares have risen about 120% so far this year, General Motors shares have risen about 51%, and Volkswagen shares have risen about 66%.

Tesla’s stock price plummeted after the sell-off, which coincided with the record-setting auto IPO of Rivian, a new manufacturer of all-electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.

Rivian shares closed up 5.6% on Friday. Since its debut on Wednesday, it has risen about 66.6%.

Rivian raised about $12 billion on Wednesday when it first went public, making it the world’s largest IPO so far this year. Rivian is now the second most valuable automaker in the United States after Tesla, although it expects sales in the third quarter to be less than $1 million.

In the financial documents, Rivian stated that its R1S SUV and R1T pickup truck reservations are 55,400, and there is also a contract to manufacture 100,000 electric vans for Amazon by 2030.

Musk responded to the success of Rivian’s IPO on Twitter and said:

“I hope they can achieve high production and break-even cash flow. This is the real test. There are already hundreds of automotive startups, including electric and internal combustion engines, but Tesla is the only US company that achieves mass production and positive cash flow. Car manufacturers in the past 100 years.”


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