Elon Musk’s $1 Billion Tesla Stock Payday Might Arrive Sooner Than Anyone Thought

Elon Musk is on the verge of a massive payday. | Source: Robyn Beck / AFP

  • Elon Musk secured a generous – and ambitious – stock-based compensation plan in 2018.
  • The Tesla CEO has already achieved the operational targets, and now only the market cap milestone remains.
  • Tesla’s prospects are bright heading into 2020, and Musk could earn the first tranche way ahead of schedule.

Elon Musk’s compensation plan ignited immense interest in 2018, owing to the ambitious targets and the generous reward the Tesla CEO could yield. Among the takeaways was that Musk’s stock award would increase his net worth by up to $55 billion upon reaching the ultimate target: a $650 billion market cap.

Elon Musk has until 2028 to meet that goal, but he’s already more than 75% of the way to earning his first $1 billion bonus. If Tesla stock’s recent performance is anything to go by, he could secure that first billion-dollar tranche way ahead of schedule.

Elon Musk checks off all Tesla’s boxes

To unlock the first tranche, Musk must captain Tesla past a $100 billion market capitalization. Following this year’s fantastic TSLA rally, he has less than $25 billion to go.

He’s also required to hit operational targets, including $20 billion in annual revenue and an adjusted annualized EBITDA of $1.5 billion. Musk has already checked off both those boxes.

Tesla’s revenues for fiscal 2018 exceeded $20 billion. | Source: Tesla

Tesla’s total revenues cleared $21 billion in the fiscal year that ended on December 31st, 2018. Per Yahoo Finance, Tesla’s most recent annualized EBITDA for a full year was $2.18 billion.

All that now remains is for the market cap to soar. Tesla stock just hit the notorious $420 mark, but it needs to climb more than 32% to around $555 to reach a $100 billion valuation.

Tesla boss eyes $1 billion stock award

Over the past three months, Tesla stock has nearly doubled, resulting in short-sellers recording massive losses.

Tesla stock is making short-sellers pay. | Source: Yahoo Finance

At this rate, TSLA could achieve a $100 billion valuation by next year, enabling Elon Musk to unlock a tranche of more than 1.8 million Tesla shares worth at least $1,000,332,000 upon reaching that milestone.

What’s even more remarkable is less than six months ago, that target appeared lightyears away. At the time, the stock was trading below $200, with market cap hovering around $35 billion.

Tesla’s stunning turnaround followed a surprise quarterly profit, along with the introduction of the Cybertruck. The EV firm has also begun production in China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles.

Heading into 2020, Elon Musk’s compensation plan suddenly looks a lot less ambitious.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: December 24, 2019 17:37 UTC

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