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story.lead_photo.caption Unsold 2020 electric vehicles are charged up Sunday outside a Tesla dealership in Littleton, Colo. (AP/David Zalubowski)

DETROIT -- A day after its 5-for-1 stock split took effect, Tesla announced plans Tuesday to sell up to $5 billion worth of common shares.

The electric car and solar panel maker said in a filing with securities regulators that it intends to sell up to 10.03 million shares and use the proceeds for unspecified general corporate purposes.

The sales would be made "from time to time," and Tesla says the actual amount of the offering can't be determined at present.

The stock would be sold through 10 different brokerage houses, and each would get a 0.5% commission.

Tesla shares closed Tuesday down 4.7% to $475.05. The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission came before the markets opened. Any stock sales would likely dilute the value of current shareholders' investments.

As of June 30, Tesla had $8.6 billion in cash and roughly $8.5 billion in debt excluding vehicle and solar panel financing. The company has to finance some big-ticket capital spending this year because it's building a new factory in Germany and has plans for an additional plant outside of Austin, Texas. It's also gearing up to roll out its new cybertruck pickup and a semitruck sometime next year.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to investors that the timing of the equity offering is good in order to shore up the Palo Alto, Calif., company's balance sheet. There is strong demand from investors at present to buy Tesla after a big rally, he wrote.

CEO Elon Musk is "raising enough capital to get the balance sheet and capital structure to further firm up its growing cash position and slowly get out of its debt situation."

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