Musk, who is the world’s richest person with a net worth of $338 billion, faces a massive tax bill as he has 23 million stock options that have vested and expire in August 2022.
"Musk owns roughly 23% of Tesla and it was viewed by many on the Street that he would sell up to ~5%/6% of his ownership stake, with 10% being a higher amount that could surprise some investors but ultimately it’s a digestible number we are not overly concerned about," wrote Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives. "We would rather Musk rip the band-aid off now and sell this portion of stock rather than it lingering over the next year and feeding into any non-fundamental bear thesis on the story."
Musk over the weekend polled Twitter users about whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. He does not take a salary and must sell stock in order to pay his taxes. His ownership in Tesla accounts for more than $200 billion of his wealth.
A majority of the more than 3.5 million respondents, 58%, supported Musk’s proposal to sell a portion of his Tesla holdings.
Musk said he would "abide by the results" of the poll.
Saturday’s Twitter poll wasn’t the first time Musk suggested he could sell some of his Tesla stake.
In September, when speaking at the Code Conference, California, in Beverley Hills, Musk said he was planning a share sale due to options that were set to expire.
Tesla shares, which fell more than 5% in pre-market trading on Monday, were up 73% this year through Friday. The S&P 500 had gained 25% this year.