Another day, another insider sale from former Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) CEO Mark Russell. Since September, Russell has sold 75,000 shares of NKLA stock nearly every other day. His most recent sale occurred on Dec. 19 when he sold out of 75,000 shares at an average price of $2.28 per share. Following the transaction, he still owns 1.95 million shares and stock options equivalent to 3.65 million shares.
Meanwhile, Nikola announced this morning that it had received a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Zero Emission Powertrain Executive Order. The order is a requirement for the Tre hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) to be eligible for CARB’s Hybrid and Zero Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) program. As a result of the order, Nikola has applied the Tre to be eligible for the following 2023 base incentives:
“$240,000 per truck; $270,000 per truck for drayage fleets; or up to $288,000 per truck for fleets with (i) 10 trucks or less, (ii) performing drayage operations, and (iii) located within a disadvantaged community area.”
Furthermore, the Inflation Reduction Act stipulates that buyers of the Tre battery electric vehicle (BEV) are eligible for an additional $40,000 in clean commercial vehicle tax credits next year.
However, shareholders aren’t responding positively to the news, as NKLA is down more than 5%.
NKLA Stock: Russell to Sell Shares
There are two caveats to Russell’s sales. First, all of his sales since September have been enacted through a prearranged 10b5-1 plan. Second, the shares that he is selling were all received at discounts to the market prices. This is due to his stock option program, which has a conversion price of $1.06 and an expiration date of Feb. 26, 2029. That’s more than 50% below the current market price. These consistent and orderly sales by Russell do not convey a positive image for Nikola.
In the past year, Nikola insiders have purchased 6.59 million shares and sold 6.11 million shares. That adds up to a net activity of 480,603 shares purchased, conveying a somewhat neutral tone.
Meanwhile, 13F filers own a total of 99.87 million shares, down from 100.65 million shares during Q2. In addition, a total of 253 13F filers own shares of NKLA, up by three filers compared to the previous quarter.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.