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Tesla rallies despite Elon Musk offloading almost $1 billion in TSLA stock

The Tesla stock (NASDAQ: TSLA) rallied on Thursday even as CEO Elon Musk continued with his share offloading spree that has resulted in the sale of a stake worth $15.4 billion. 

Under the latest offloading, Musk, on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, sold 934,091 shares from his Tesla stake, which is worth $928.6 million, filings with the Securities Exchange Commission indicates.

However, the market has reacted positively to the news, with investors appearing unmoved as the Tesla stock surged over 5% on Thursday to trade at $1,062 by press time. The gains are deemed positive for Tesla, whose stock dropped in early December in the wake of Musk’s share offloading alongside the regulatory scrutiny facing the EV manufacturer.

Tesla stock chart. Source: Finviz

The offloading emerged after Musk took to Twitter, asking his followers if he should sell his shares. Interestingly, in an interview with The Babylon Bee, Musk insinuated that the Twitter poll did not necessarily influence his decisions. Musk stated that he had to exercise options expiring in 2022 at all costs.

Additionally, the offloading is part of 10b5-1, a prearranged plan that has resulted in the sale of 14.77 million shares.

Share sale to facilitate paying of Musk’s tax bill

Notably, the offloading aims to enable Musk to offset his estimated tax bill of $11 billion in 2021. Out of the sold shares, about 9.34 million have been directed towards paying taxes linked to his options exercised.

Musk’s revelation on his tax bill followed a Twitter spat with Califonia Senator Elizabeth Warren, who claimed that the Tesla boss is a ‘freeloader’. Overall, the leadership class in the U.S. has been accusing billionaires of avoiding paying taxes.

“I don’t have any offshore accounts, I don’t have any tax shelters<…>Everything is extremely transparent,” said Musk. 

Furthermore, Musk has criticized the state of California for being unfriendly to businesses due to what he termed as over-taxation and over-regulation. The reason inspired Musk to shift his company headquarters from California to Texas.

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