Entrepreneurs end up selling stocks, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no different. But he still firmly controls the company he founded.
Even after the sale You’re here (TSLA) seven times this year, including his latest sale of 19.5 million shares, Musk still owns 445.6 million shares, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. That gives him a 14.1% stake in the electric vehicle company he founded in 2003. That makes him the biggest owner of the stock.
It also means that Musk is still more financially in control of his business than many other tycoons. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos owns just 9.8% of the company and Mark Zuckerberg still owns 13% of Meta, an expensive position this year.
Some investors, however, still lament the sale of Musk. “Musk, who repeatedly over the past year has said he’s ‘done selling Tesla stock,’ once again loses more credibility with investors and his followers in a boyish moment that has cried wolf,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.
So who would be Tesla’s next biggest owner?
Tesla’s Biggest Owners Now
Musk may be easing his position in Tesla, but giant ETF and mutual fund investors are charging.
Tesla’s second largest holder is Vanguard Group. The investment company giant, which is the largest owner of most shares, owns 204.7 million shares of Tesla for a 6.5% stake in the company. Vanguard manages two of the five ETFs that hold the most Tesla shares. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) holds 19.3 million shares and Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI) holds 17.6 million shares.
The investment manager also manages the ETF with the fourth percentage exposure to Tesla. Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF (VCR) invests nearly 16% of its portfolio in a single stock. To meet the needs of these ETFs, Vanguard has made aggressive purchases. He now owns almost 58% more Tesla shares than two years ago.
And next is BlackRock, another giant in the ETF industry. The company owns 166 million shares of Tesla, which represents 5.3% of the company’s outstanding shares. BlackRock’s iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) is the third largest holder of Tesla shares after SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ).
And like Vanguard, BlackRock is aggressively adding Tesla stock. Its number of shares held has increased by nearly 46% in two years.
Changing of the guard at Tesla
Selling Musk, however, is an integral part of a company’s maturing process.
Large institutions now own more than 42% of Tesla shares. Most of these owners are traditional investment managers. Individuals like Musk only own 15.6%, a vast majority of which is Musk himself. The only other major individual investor is Oracle (ORCL) founder Larry Ellison. Public investors like state pensions hold the remaining shares, totaling 41% of the company.
And the activists? They are barely involved in Tesla. DE Shaw only owns 0.1% of the shares. And that’s why, while Musk is selling, he’s still in control.
Who Owns Tesla Stock?
|Incumbent||Common shares held (millions)||% of CSO (ordinary shares outstanding)|
|Research and capital management||97.0||3.1|
|State Street Global Advisors||95.4||3.0|
|Natixis, Investment Bank and Corporate Bank Investments||45.8||1.5|
|Geode Capital Management||44.3||1.4|
|T. Rowe Prize Group||42.7||1.4|
Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence, IBD
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz
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