Published on November 22nd, 2023 by Nikolaos Sismanis
Founded in 2003, Scion Asset Management, LLC is a private investment firm led by investing guru Dr. Michael J. Burry.
Scion Asset Management has become increasingly popular due to Dr. Burry’s ability to identify undervalued investment opportunities around the world. The fund only has four clients. It charges an asset-based management fee that can be as high as 2% per year, while it may also take up to 20% of the value of the appreciation from each client’s account.
Investors following the company’s 13F filings over the last 3 years (from mid-November 2020 through mid-November 2023) would have generated annualized total returns of 28.4%. For comparison, the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) generated annualized total returns of 11.0% over the same time period.
Note: 13F filing performance is different than fund performance. See how we calculate 13F filing performance here.
You can download an Excel spreadsheet with metrics that matter of Scion Asset Management’s current 13F equity holdings below:
Keep reading this article to learn more about Scion Asset Management.
Table Of Contents
- Introduction & 13F Spreadsheet Download
- Scion Asset Management’s Fund Manager, Michael Burry
- Scion Asset Management’s Investment Philosophy & Strategy
- Scion Asset Management’s Noteworthy Portfolio Changes
- Scion Asset Management’s Portfolio – All 9 Public Equity Investments
- Final Thoughts
Scion Asset Management’s Fund Manager, Michael Burry
Michael J. Burry is known by most as the “Big Short” investor due to the eponymous movie revolving around himself and his story during the days of the Great Financial Crisis, a role played by Christian Bale. However, Dr. Burry has a much broader track record in the investing world.
After attending medical school, Dr. Burry left to start his own hedge fund in 2000. He had already built a reputation as an investor at the time by exhibiting success in value investing. Specifically, his picks were published on message boards on the stock discussion site Silicon Investor back in 1996, with their returns being outstanding! In fact, Dr. Burry had showcased such great stock-picking skills that he drew the interest of companies such as Vanguard, White Mountains Insurance Group, and renowned investors such as Joel Greenblatt.
Nevertheless, it is Dr. Burry’s legendary plays prior to the Great Financial Crisis, and the massive returns that followed that pushed his name into the international spotlight. Particularly, in 2005, Dr. Burry started to concentrate on the subprime market. Based on his analysis of mortgage lending practices utilized in 2003 and 2004, he accurately forecasted that the real estate bubble would come tumbling by 2007.
His analysis resulted in him shorting the market by convincing Goldman Sachs and other investment firms to sell him credit default swaps against subprime deals he saw as weak. Interestingly enough, when Dr. Burry had to pay for the credit default swaps, he experienced an investor revolt, as some investors in his fund feared his prophecy was inaccurate, requesting to withdraw their funds. Ultimately, Burry’s analysis proved right. Not only did he make a personal profit of $100 million, but his remaining investors earned more than $700 million.
To illustrate how successful Dr. Burry’s picks were from the origins of Scion Asset Management to the Great Financial Crisis, the hedge fund recorded returns of 489.34% (net of fees and expenses) between its inception in November 2000 to June 2008. In comparison, the S&P 500 returned just under 3%, including dividends, over the same period.
Michael Burry’s Investment Philosophy & Strategy
The concept of “Value Investing can sum up Michael Burry’s whole investment philosophy”. He has stated more than once that his investment style is based on Benjamin Graham and David Dodd’s 1934 book Security Analysis. In his words: “All my stock picking is 100% based on the concept of a margin of safety.”
Dr. Burry does not differentiate between small-caps, mid-caps, tech stocks, or non-tech stocks. He only looks for their undervalued elements, regardless of their sector and class. Precisely because he doesn’t focus on a specific industry and because the essence of financial metrics shifts by industry and each company’s place in the economic cycle, Dr. Burry utilizes the ratio of enterprise value (EV) to EBITDA when researching investment ideas.
Accordingly, he disregards price-to-earnings ratios to dodge being deceived by a company’s stated metrics. Company metrics from any one time period can be misleading based on the underlying state of the economy and macros that may benefit or harm the company at a given point in time. Rather, he pays attention to off-balance sheet metrics and, naturally, free cash flow.
Scion Asset Management’s Noteworthy Portfolio Changes
During its latest 13F filing, Scion Asset Management executed the following notable portfolio adjustments:
Noteworthy new Buys:
- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ADR (BABA)
- JD.com Inc ADR (JD)
Noteworthy new Sells:
- iHeartMedia Inc (IHRT)
- Liberty Latin America Ltd Class C (LILAK)
- Vital Energy Inc. (VTLE)
- Costamare Inc (CMRE)
- Generac Holdlings Inc (GNRC)
- Charter Communications Inc (CHTR)
- New York Community Bancorp (NYCB)
- Hanesbrands, Inc. (HBI)
- Cigna Holding Co (CI)
- Signet Jewelers Ltd (SIG)
- GEO Group, Inc. (The) (GEO)
- MGM Resorts International, Inc. (MGM)
- Comstock Resources Inc. (CRK)
Scion Asset Management’s Portfolio – All 11 Public Equity Investments
Excluding Michael Burry’s long and short option plays, the core equity portfolio numbers only 11 names, with Booking Holdings accounting for 24.4% of its holdings. The fund’s top five holdings, which we analyze below, account for 72% of its total public equity exposure.
Source: 13F filing, Author
Booking Holdings is a leading online travel company operating a portfolio of well-known brands in the travel and accommodation industry. Its most prominent ones are Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Kayak, and OpenTable. The company facilitates the booking of hotels, flights, rental cars, and restaurant reservations through these portals, catering to a diverse range of travelers.
Back in 2021, Booking Holdings faced massive challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting global travel. However, the company adapted its strategy at the time, and today, it’s once again thriving!
Revenues have reached a new record of $20.6 billion over the past 12 months, sustaining a very impressive growth trend.
Booking Holdings is Scion’s largest holding, accounting for 24.4% of its equity holdings.
Stellantis N.V. is a multinational automotive manufacturer formed in 2021 through the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and PSA Group. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Stellantis is now one of the world’s largest automotive companies, bringing together a diverse portfolio of iconic brands.
The company encompasses a wide range of brands, including Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Vauxhall, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati, among others. Stellantis operates across various segments, producing automobiles, commercial vehicles, and components.
The merger aimed to create synergies, enhance efficiency, and strengthen Stellantis’ competitive position in the global automotive market. By combining the strengths and resources of FCA and PSA Group, Stellantis seeks to navigate industry challenges, including the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles.
Following the merger, revenue growth has picked up, with last-twelve-month sales amounting to nearly €190 million. The company’s profits have also been rising.
Stellantis is Scion’s second-largest holding, accounting for 15.6% of its equity holdings.
Nexstar Media Group Inc
Based in Irving, Texas, Nexstar owns and operates television stations across the United States, reaching a large audience through its network of affiliates. The company’s portfolio includes stations affiliated with major broadcast networks such as NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox.
Nexstar focuses on local news, entertainment, and sports programming, delivering content to viewers in both large and mid-sized markets. The company’s stations play a crucial role in providing news and information to their respective communities.
In addition to its television broadcasting operations, Nexstar has expanded its presence in the digital media space. The company engages in digital publishing, offering content through websites and mobile apps. This multi-platform approach allows Nexstar to reach audiences through traditional broadcasts and online channels.
While the stock has produced noteworthy returns over the years, with he company being consistently profitable, its bottom-line margins have been suppressed notably lately.
Nexstar is Scion’s third-largest holding, accounting for 13.9% of its equity holdings.
Star Bulk Carriers
Star Bulk Carriers Corp. is an international leading global shipping company that owns and operates a modern and diverse fleet of dry bulk vessels. Specifically, the company owns 124 high-quality vessels on a fully delivered basis with an average age of around 11.7 years and a dwt (deadweight ton) capacity of 13.5 million metric tons.
The vessels are utilized to transport a broad range of major and minor bulk commodities, including iron ore, minerals, grain, bauxite, fertilizers, and steel products, along worldwide shipping routes. Star Bulk Carriers generated $1.44 billion in revenues last year and is based in Marousi, Greece.
The dry bulk shipping industry is wildly cyclical in nature. Dry bulk rates remained rather depressed over the past decade for a number of factors, including a high order book, which led to an oversupply of dry bulk vessels relative to the underlying demand.
Following the supply chain crisis caused by the pandemic, TCE rates skyrocketed, allowing Star Bulk to record massive profits in 2020 and 2021. Rates plummeted in 2022 and still remain rather soft to this day. That said, Star Bulk enjoys the best supply-side dynamics in decades with slowing fleet growth (order book at 25+ year lows as a percentage of the global fleet).
Star Bulk Carriers is Scion’s fourth-largest holding, accounting for 9.1% of its equity holdings.
Euronav stands as the world’s premier independent publicly traded tanker company, dedicated to the global conveyance and storage of crude oil.
Headquartered in the vibrant city of Antwerp, Belgium, with a widespread presence across Europe and Asia, the company has grown from its familial roots with 17 vessels to emerge as a formidable international player.
Euronav’s forward-looking approach is encapsulated in its long-term strategy, centered on achieving through-cycle profitability. This involves a dynamic adjustment of its balance sheet leverage and liquidity position, aligning with the diverse sources of its revenues.
These revenues, whether fixed (long-term FSO income and/or TC portfolio) or floating (pool and spot), drive Euronav’s resilience and success in navigating the complexities of the global shipping market.
The company’s performance is highly cyclical due to the cyclical nature of tankers. However, current market conditions are quite favorable, evident by the ongoing rise in revenues and profits.
Euronav is Scion’s fifth-largest holding, accounting for 8.7% of its equity holdings.
Following the massive triumph he experienced by successfully predicting the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-2008, Dr. Michael Burry has grown into a living legend in the world of finance. His solemn investing philosophy has resulted in outsized market returns over the past few years, beating the S&P 500 by a wide margin.
While Scion Asset Management’s portfolio lacks diversification, its holdings come with characteristics that reflect Dr. Burry’s principles. Nevertheless, most fund stocks seem to bear their fair share of risks. Thus, be mindful and conduct your own research before allocating your hard-earned money to any of these names.
See the articles below for analysis on other major investment firms/asset managers/gurus:
If you are interested in finding more high-quality dividend growth stocks suitable for long-term investment, the following Sure Dividend databases will be useful:
- The 20 Highest Yielding Dividend Aristocrats
- The Dividend Kings List is even more exclusive than the Dividend Aristocrats. It is comprised of 53 stocks with 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases.
- The 20 Highest Yielding Dividend Kings
- The Dividend Achievers List: a group of stocks with 10+ years of consecutive dividend increases.
- The Dividend Champions List: stocks that have increased their dividends for 25+ consecutive years.
Note: Not all Dividend Champions are Dividend Aristocrats because Dividend Aristocrats have additional requirements like being in The S&P 500.
- The Dividend Contenders List: 10-24 consecutive years of dividend increases.
- The Dividend Challengers List: 5-9 consecutive years of dividend increases.
- The Monthly Dividend Stocks List: contains stocks that pay dividends each month, for 12 payments per year.
- The 20 Highest Yielding Monthly Dividend Stocks
- The High Dividend Stocks List: high dividend stocks are suited for investors that need income now (as opposed to growth later) by listing stocks with 5%+ dividend yields.
The major domestic stock market indices are another solid resource for finding investment ideas. Sure Dividend compiles the following stock market databases and updates them monthly: