Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s chief financial officer booked a profit of about $573,000 on the day the electric car maker issued an optimistic earnings forecast for the first quarter.
The company expected to post its first ever profit. As part of his compensation, Deepak Ahuja converted 20,000 options into stock, and sold the shares immediately, reports the New York Times.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were up 16 percent that day after the revised forecasts announcement.
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Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks said in a statement that it was a predetermined sales plan that began in March 2012. Ms. Hendriks said that Ahuja’s sale was not timed to coincide with the company’s earnings report on Monday. The sales plan allows the sales to be managed by a third party broker, and the plan participant did not have a say as to the timing of the sale.
The sale of 20,000 shares was comparatively larger than other recent transactions where shares were sold in batches of 5,000 or 10,000. The reason a larger number of shares were put on sale is that Ahuja’s transactions were set at a predetermined strike price, and additional shares were set to sell as prices rise.
Many people on the Wall Street have raised doubts over the company’s future. They are betting against Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as they believe that there won’t be strong demand for the high-end cards made by the company.
However, in the past few weeks, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares soared as the company as the company’s actual car sales dwarfed all the expectations.
In fact, Ahuja’s sale was scheduled for Monday due to another reason – to protect him from a share price decline later in the week. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk’s “really exciting” announcement failed to impress investors. After the company rolled out leasing program, shares tanked 7 percent.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were down 1.98 percent to $41.18 at 1:07 PM EDT.