Tesla Loses Most-Crowded Short Stock Crown To This Oil Giant

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Electric vehicle leader Tesla Inc TSLA has been a popular stock to short by investors in recent months.

The stock remains one of the most crowded shorts according to a new report, but lost its position at the top after three straight months.

What Happened: Tesla’s first quarter financials and production and delivery figures came in below analysts’ estimates.

The stock has been a popular short with declining deliveries and investors getting anxious and worried about the future direction.

According to a new report from Hazeltree, Tesla is one of the most crowded stocks for short selling. Tesla ranked second in the April Hazeltree Shortside Crowdedness Report with a score of 97 out of a possible 99.

The score ranked Tesla second among all large-cap stocks.

Ranking ahead of Tesla was Chevron Corp CVX with a perfect score of 99. Chevron also had a score of 99 in the March report, but this marked its first time sitting atop the leaderboard alone. Tesla was number one and had perfect 99 scores in January, February and March.

According to data from Benzinga Pro, 3.8% of Tesla shares are currently short, while 2.8% of Chevron shares are short.

Oil stocks may be gaining in interest as a short trade idea. Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM ranked third with a score of 89 among large-cap stocks.

Hazeltree ranked Dayforce Inc DAY and Confluent Inc CFLT among mid-cap stocks with each having a perfect 99 score for a crowded short trade. The previous month’s leader Wayfair Inc W dropped to fifth place.

Only one small-cap stock got a perfect 99 score, compared to several in the previous report. Foot Locker Inc FL topped the small-cap crowded short leaderboard.

Related Link: Short Sellers Run Scared As Meme Stocks Roar: Why High Short Interest Stocks Keep Ripping

Why It’s Important: While Tesla lost its perfect 99 score and dropped to second place, the stock remains a popular bet from short sellers.

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Investor Danny Moses of “The Big Short” fame recently shared he thinks Tesla shares will drop 70% to $50.

“Everything is kind of falling apart in their core business. He’s pointing everybody to robotaxis and AI and autonomy. It’s really become a ‘show me’ story in terms of if it’s an auto company, and I think people are going to start to lose patience over time here for what the company is going to be,” Moses said.

Tesla has been a popular short for investors for years with many betting against the success of electric vehicles and Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO has spoken out on short sellers and sent warnings many times as the stock has often outperformed the market.

TSLA, CVX Price Action: Tesla shares traded at $173.99 at market close Wednesday versus a 52-week trading range of $138.80 to $299.29. Tesla shares are up 5.0% over the past year and down 29.7% year-to-date in 2024.

Chevron shares traded at $163.05 at market close Wednesday versus a 52-week trading range of $139.62 to $171.70. Chevron shares are up 34.0% over the last year and up 9.0% year-to-date in 2024.

Read Next: GameStop, AMC Surge Burns Short Sellers: This Hedge Fund May Have Been On The Right Side Of The Trade

Photo: William Potter on Shutterstock

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