‘Big Short’ Burry exits bearish bet on Tesla

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FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo is seen at the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in Shanghai

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) – (This Nov. 15 story corrects headline to delete “Google” and corrects first paragraph to delete “Alphabet Inc’s Google,” correcting to show that Burry did not exit a bearish bet on Google. The story also corrects fifth paragraph to “put,” not “call,” to show that Burry had held a bullish position on Google) Fund manager Michael Burry of “The Big Short” fame exited bearish bets on Tesla Inc and fund manager Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation fund last quarter, according to SEC filings released on Monday.

Burry, whose bets against mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis were featured in Michael Lewis’ 2010 book “The Big Short,” and who now runs $638 million Scion Asset Management, exited out of put options on slightly more than 1 million shares of Tesla, a snapshot of his portfolio as of Sept. 30 showed.

Burry told CNBC in October that he was no longer betting against Tesla and that his position, which was disclosed earlier this year, was just a trade.

Put options give investors the right to sell shares at a certain price in the future.

Among other positions he exited were call options on 91,900 shares of Alphabet Inc and put options on 1.9 million shares of the iShares 20 year plus Treasury ETF.

Burry also exited a put position on 235,500 shares of ARK Innovation, the ETF run by star stockpicker Cathie Wood which was the top-performing U.S. equity fund last year thanks to its bets on high-growth companies that rallied during the early stages of the pandemic.

The $20.5 billion fund has slipped this year, however, and is down 4.8% for the year to date despite the 24.7% rally in the S&P 500.

It was not clear how Burry’s bearish bets on Tesla and the others fared, given that regulatory filings do not require the disclosure of options strikes, purchase prices and expiration dates.

At the same time, Burry added a new long position in Lockheed Martin Corp, oil drilling equipment company Now Inc and biotech company Scynexis Inc, according to SEC filings.

Each company rose in afternoon trading on Thursday, while the broad S&P 500 index was flat.

(Reporting by David Randall in New York; Additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in New York; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and Matthew Lewis)

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