Days after Gregory Reichow, a Tesla Motors Inc. (NADAQ:TSLA) vice president, sold 15,000 shares of Tesla for a profit of $1.6 million, one of the directors for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based luxury electric-car manufacturer sold nearly 79,000 shares of the company, raking in $9.53 million. The transactions represent 52 percent of his current stock options.
According to a Tesla filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission posted after markets closed on Friday, Stephen Jurvetson, managing director of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson and a director at Tesla, bought the shares on Nov. 13 for different strike prices between $6.63 and $30.08 and immediately sold them for an average price of $140.50 per share.
Jurvetson, who is also on the board of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s space-transport company SpaceX, was on the Forbes magazine list of top tech-industry investors for the past three years. He was the first owner of a Model S electric sedan.
Jurvetson still holds options for 71,447 of Tesla shares. Earlier this month, the company posted a loss of $38.5 million, or 32 cents per share, on $431.4 million in revenue, in the third quarter. Between Nov. 5 when Tesla reported its results and the date of Jurvetson’s transaction, Tesla shares lost nearly 21 percent of their value.
On Nov. 8, Reichow, who heads Tesla’s powertrain operations, exercised 21 percent of his executive stock options.
Tesla shares fell 3.63 percent on Monday morning, to $130.21. On Friday, Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Weil wrote a takedown of Tesla, suggesting that the company may have violated an SEC rule by advertising prominently in its filing non-GAAP results based on nonstandard accounting principles that are often referred to as “adjusted” earnings. Under SEC rules, companies must give “equal or greater prominence” to numbers based on generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP.
Tesla denies any wrongdoing. The GAAP numbers were buried in the report, but they were there. The SEC wouldn’t comment on the issue on Friday.