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The Big Short’s Michael Burry Reveals His Latest Stock Picks for the First Time Since 2016

Tim Frederick

It had been over two years since we last saw a regulatory filing out of Michael Burry's Scion Asset Management, which left little in the way of knowledge as to what the secretive hedge fund manager was investing in nowadays.

Burry, who achieved mainstream fame after being featured in the hit 2015 movie The Big Short, was most heavily invested in consumer staples stock Coty Inc. (NYSE:COTY) at the end of September 2016, one of just four long positions in his fund's 13F portfolio at the time. That portfolio was valued at just $35 million, meaning he wasn't even required to declare those positions to the SEC. Over the following two years, he decided that not declaring them was exactly what he was going to do (or not do).

That changed last week, when Scion Asset Management filed a 13F with the SEC for the first time in 27 months. A great deal about Scion's 13F portfolio has changed since 2016, including its value, which has eclipsed the SEC's $100 million mandatory reporting threshold for money managers, which explains Scion's sudden reemergence. Its 13F portfolio contained $104 million in assets as of December 31.

[caption id="attachment_521171" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Copyright: blanscape / 123RF Stock Photo[/caption]

Copyright: blanscape / 123RF Stock Photo

The composition of Dr. Burry's 13F portfolio has also changed dramatically over the years, as it now contains far more stocks and is much better diversified than it was in 2016. Nine different sectors are represented among Burry's 13F long positions, which now total 16 in all. All but one of them are new holdings as well (compared to 2016), a position in Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) being the only holdover from the previous filing.

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On the next page we'll check out five of the most compelling long positions owned by Michael Burry's Scion Asset Management as of the end of 2018.

CorePoint Lodging Inc. (NYSE:CPLG)

- Shares Owned (as of December 31, 2018): 904,984 - Value of Holding (as of December 31, 2018): $11.09 million

- Q1 Return (through February 19, 2019): 10.02%

CorePoint Lodging Inc. (NYSE:CPLG) is Michael Burry's top stock pick as of December 31. While we don't know much about when the majority of his positions were bought over the past two-plus years, we do know that CorePoint was a fairly recent purchase. After all, the company only went public last May 31 after the REIT was spun-off by La Quinta Holdings. CorePoint's shares have not fared well since then, slumping by 53% and leaving them close to 50% beneath their book value of $1.4 billion.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)

- Shares Owned (as of December 31, 2018): 80,000 - Value of Holding (as of December 31, 2018): $8.77 million

- Q1 Return (through February 19, 2019): 4.17%

Michael Burry bought at least 80,000 shares of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) at some point during the past two years, as Scion Asset Management owned that many at the end of 2018. Burry appears confident in Disney's forthcoming streaming service and its bold purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox, both of which should be bearing fruit by the end of the year.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME)

- Shares Owned (as of December 31, 2018): 536,862 - Value of Holding (as of December 31, 2018): $6.78 million

- Q1 Return (through February 19, 2019): -14.31%

GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) has not benefited from the market rally early this year, shedding another 14% off its ever-dwindling market cap. Burry may have been enticed by some of the same things that we were last May when we declared that the shorts were dead wrong about the video games retailer. Yet while shares surged by as much as 30% later in the year, they have since given back those gains and fallen to new lows.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF)

- Shares Owned (as of December 31, 2018): 1.04 million - Value of Holding (as of December 31, 2018): $8.01 million

- Q1 Return (through February 19, 2019): 43.00%

On the other hand, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE:CLF) has been one of the best performing stocks of 2019 thus far, gaining an even 43%. A portion of those gains were the result of Vale S.A. (NYSE:VALE) announcing the decommissioning of 19 dams following a disaster in Brazil that killed over 80 people. Iron ore prices surged after the announcement that up to 40 million tons of output was being taken off the market, which pushed up the shares of many of Vale's competitors, including iron ore pellet producer Cleveland-Cliffs.

Tailored Brands, Inc. (NYSE:TLRD)

- Shares Owned (as of December 31, 2018): 638,005 - Value of Holding (as of December 31, 2018): $8.70 million

- Q1 Return (through February 19): -6.14%

Lastly is men's clothing retailer Tailored Brands, Inc. (NYSE:TLRD), which Burry's hedge fund owned 638,005 shares of on December 31. That date is sandwiched between two recent guidance cuts issued by the company that have crumpled shares. The latest Q4 guidance cut was announced in mid-January and was blamed on weak late-December comparable sales at JoS. A. Bank. Tailored Brands' Q4 results are scheduled for a March 13 release.

Disclosure: None