Musk sells more Tesla shares, stoking investors' ire


Tesla investors were already growing frustrated with CEO and found Elon Musk, accusing him of turning his attention to the newly-acquired Twitter, when they learned that Musk unloaded some 22 million additional shares of the electric car company this week.

The disclosure made Wednesday came the same day Tesla's third-largest individual shareholder, businessman KoGuan Leo, tweeted, "Elon abandoned Tesla and Tesla has no working CEO."

Tesla investors have chewed their nails watching shares of the electric carmaker decline from just under $400 at the start of 2022, down to below $160 today.

News of Musk's latest sale of $3.6 billion in stock marks THE second large chunk of shares Musk has dumped since his $44 billion purchase of Twitter in October.

"I think there is a real concern that obviously with so much on his plate, Elon Musk is not giving Tesla the attention it deserves."

Susannah Streeter is a senior investment and markets analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown.

"Well, certainly it's going to disappoint investors because actually back in April, Elon Musk said he was done with selling Tesla shares for now. And of course, this now brings the value of the shares that he's offloaded to around $40 billion this year. And I think this will be another frustrating move, that's how it will be seen by investors, because the company's shares are wallowing at two-year lows."

Tesla did not respond to a Reuters request to comment.

Musk's stock sales have cut his stake in the world's most valuable car company from 17 percent down to 13.4 percent.

Tesla stock has fallen by half this year - underperforming both automakers and the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

If Musk's attention has turned to Twitter, a fair amount of attention has turned to Musk, and little of it positive.

Earlier this week he sent a tweet mocking trans' individuals use of preferred pronouns while calling for the U.S. government's top infectious diseases expert to be prosecuted.

The White House called the tweets "dangerous," and "disgusting."

Video earlier this week showed Musk coming up on stage at a comedy show and earning the loud boos of the crowd.

The blowback, and the problems at Twitter may have consumed Musk just as Tesla is dealing with serious logistics challenges.

"And it seems as though Twitter is taking an awful lot of his time. At the same time, we do have the slowdown in China. We have concerns about production because of supply chain issues and production issues, partly due to COVID restrictions, but also real worries about whether Tesla could lose its crown as one of the key EV makers across the world because there are plenty of competitors nipping at its heels and it's been already overtaken in certain markets and geographical regions. So, I think that there will be concern about what lies ahead."

In October Tesla said it expected to miss this year's vehicle delivery target.

But the firm is still more profitable than rivals, who have struggled to make money from selling electric cars.