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Michael Burry's Firm Axes Alphabet, Buys 5 Stocks in the 1st Quarter

Scion Asset Management, the firm founded by "The Big Short" investor Michael Burry, disclosed in May that it closed its position in Google parent Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) and introduced five new positions during the first quarter: Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA), Discovery Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) and The Michaels Companies Inc. (NASDAQ:MIK).

Burry recognized and invested in the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, making a large short bet in collateralized mortgage obligations. The investor started Scion in 2013 and has been reporting his holdings in public companies.


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As of the quarter-end, Scion's $86 million equity portfolio contains 14 holdings with a turnover ratio of 60%. The equity portfolio features a 45.85% weight in consumer cyclical, a 24.15% weight in technology, a 19.57% weight in communication services and a 10.42% weight in industrials.

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Sold out: Alphabet

Scion sold its 8,000 Class C shares of Alphabet, freeing up 13% of the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $1,361.82 during the first three months of the year.

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GuruFocus ranks the Mountain View, California-based online media giant's financial strength and profitability 9 out of 10 on several positive investing signs, which include robust interest coverage, a strong Altman Z-score of 10 and a four-star business predictability rank.

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Gurus with large holdings in Alphabet include Dodge & Cox, PRIMECAP Management (Trades, Portfolio) and Al Gore (Trades, Portfolio)'s Generation Investment Management.

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Jack in the Box

Scion purchased 300,000 shares of Jack in the Box, giving the position 12.24% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $68.74 during the first quarter.

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The San Diego-based company operates a chain of fast-casual restaurants that serve burgers, tacos, fries and sandwiches. GuruFocus ranks the company's profitability 7 out of 10 on the back of operating margins that are expanding and outperforming over 92% of global competitors, partially offset by three-year revenue and earnings growth rates that underperform more than half of global restaurants.

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Facebook

Scion purchased 60,000 shares of Facebook, giving the position 11.65% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $196.62 during the March quarter.

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GuruFocus ranks the Menlo Park, California-based social media giant's financial strength and profitability 9 out of 10 on several positive investing signs, which include robust interest coverage, a strong Altman Z-score of 13, expanding operating margins and returns that outperform over 83% of global competitors.

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Other gurus riding Facebook's high profitability include Robert Olstein (Trades, Portfolio) and Ken Fisher (Trades, Portfolio).

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Boeing

Scion purchased 60,000 shares of Boeing, giving the holding 10.42% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $276.34 during the first quarter.

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The Seattle-based aerospace giant said in April that the net loss for the March quarter was $1.11 per share, primarily reflecting the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak and the grounding of the 737 Max. Boeing CEO David Calhoun said in a statement that the virus outbreak has impacted "every aspect" of the company's business, including "airline customer demand, production continuity and supply chain stability."

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Discovery

Scion purchased 350,000 shares of Discovery, giving the position 7.92% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $27.65 during the first quarter.

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The Silver Spring, Maryland-based company operates a broad range of networks, including Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, HGTV and Food Network. GuruFocus ranks the company's profitability and valuation 9 out of 10 on several positive investing signs, which include a high Piotroski F-score of 8, operating margins that are outperforming over 95% of global competitors and a price-earnings ratio that is near a 10-year low of 6.33 and is outperforming over 82% of global diversified media companies.

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Michaels

Scion purchased 3.25 million shares of Michaels, giving the stake 6.13% weight in the equity portfolio. Shares averaged $4.81 during the first quarter.

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The Irving, Texas-based company markets a wide range of art and craft products, including home decor, framing, paper crafting and other related merchandise. GuruFocus ranks the company's profitability 8 out of 10 on the back of operating margins and returns on assets that outperform over 84% of global competitors.

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See also

Burry is one of our Premium Plus gurus. Other key Premium Plus features include unlimited Excel Add-in usage, the Manual of Stocks for all U.S. companies, backtesting in the Screener as far back as 2006 and unlimited custom filters in the Screener.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in the stocks mentioned. The mention of stocks in this article reflect the holdings as of the March filing and do not consider any transactions or portfolio hedges made in April or May. Additionally, the mentioned purchase prices represent the average share price during the quarter ending March 31.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.