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Elon Musk may or may not have just unloaded 10% of his stock in Tesla on a Twitter dare, but either way he has made his company a more attractive investment.
The world's richest man revealed this week that he finished jettisoning over $14 billion worth of his electric car company's stock, removing a treacherous overhang on shares. Even as regulators announced a new safety investigation into the company Wednesday, share prices went up and up.
A Whiff of Musk
Back in November, Time magazine's Man of the Year asked his Twitter followers if he should get rid of 10% of his Tesla stake. Millions overwhelmingly voted yes, and he's since sold off 13.5 million shares worth $14.1 billion, according to the most up-to-date filings.
Now that his selling is over, Musk says, he'll get smacked with a whopping bill from the IRS and investors can celebrate the end of an overhang threatened to drag down Tesla's stock price:
- Musk claims he's now set to pay $11 billion in taxes this year — a direct counter to politicians who have claimed bazillionaires like him pay little in federal income tax.
- Insiders say investors, who saw Tesla tumble 24% through Tuesday since reaching a record high on November 4, are poised to make bank now that they're unburdened by selling pressure and negative perceptions created by Musk's Twitter challenge.
Stock Rocket: After Musk confirmed he'd finished his sell-off, Tesla stock gained 8% Wednesday and reclaimed a trillion dollar market cap.
Game Time: Tesla's stock doesn't appear to have been impacted by news that US auto safety regulators are investigating a year-old feature in 580,000 of the company's cars that allows passengers — and, potentially, drivers — to play video games on the dashboard screen while the vehicle is in motion. No word yet on whether Atari, the makers of the seminal arcade racing game "Pole Position," plan to sue for copyright infringement.