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'Big Short' fund manager Burry dumps portfolio, buys prison stock

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building after the start of Thursday's trading session in New York

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scion Asset Management fund manager Michael Burry, who rose to fame with timely bets against housing ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, in the last quarter dumped a dozen bullish positions and replaced them with a new stake in prison company Geo Group Inc, according to filings released on Monday.

Shares of Geo Group rose 12% on Monday, the largest one-day rally in the company since June 2021, according to Refinitv data. At current prices, Burry's position is worth approximately $3.9 million. Shares of the company, which has a market value of $852 million, are down 1.6% for the year to date.

Burry, who frequently deletes his tweets, suggested on Twitter on Sunday that the 18% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index since the start of the third quarter is likely to reverse.

"Can't shake that silly pre-Enron, pre-9/11, pre-WorldCom feeling," he wrote, referring to three events which contributed to an approximately 75% decline in the Nasdaq between February 2000 and September 2002.

Filings known as 13-f are one of the few quarterly disclosures that hedge fund managers make of their long positions -- bets that a stock will rise -- and may not reflect current holdings. Fund managers are not required to disclose short positions, which profit when a company's shares fall.

Among the stocks that Burry sold are a stake in Facebook parent Meta Platforms that was worth $12.9 million at the end of the quarter, a $19.7 million stake in Cigna Corp, and a $23.1 million stake in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

The Nasdaq Composite was recently up 0.43% Monday, leaving it down 16.3% for the year to date.

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Leslie Adler)