Oil company Chevron (CVX.N) was the most shorted US stock in April, overtaking long-standing top target Tesla (TSLA.O) as short-sellers up their bets on weaker energy prices, according to a monthly report by data and tech firm Hazeltree.

Chevron topped the Hazeltree Shortside Crowdedness Report list as the most shorted large cap stock in the United States, which the firm compiles based on stock borrowing data globally from about 700 asset management funds.

While the oil company has occupied second place in the last three months, April saw a jump of over $500 million worth of Chevron’s total stock used for shorting, to about 9 per cent from the previous month’s roughly 7 per cent.

Chevron declined to comment.

Chevron, whose first-quarter results beat Wall Street consensus estimates, is feeling the pinch of weak energy prices and refining margins that have cooled in the last year. A glut of natural gas and a warmer-than-expected winter also depressed natural gas prices, eating into earnings.

However, Chevron’s shares gained 1.38 per cent in April, which added around $5 billion to its total market value, according to LSEG Datastream. A short position is a bet that a company’s stock price will fall.

Hedge funds tracked by Goldman Sachs took much of their bets off of the table, ditching both long and short positions in the week to May 10, according to a recent note from the bank’s prime brokerage.

The New York Stock Exchange composite index, of which Chevron is a part, (.SPX) lost about 3 per cent in April.

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.