What Would Michael Burry Do? 3 Stocks the ‘Big Short’ Investor Bought and Sold in Q4

Stock Market

Michael Burry is an investing legend and one of Wall Street’s biggest bears. The investor is best known for betting against the U.S. housing market during the subprime mortgage meltdown that led to the 2008/09 financial crisis, an event chronicled in the book and film “The Big Short.”

However, while Burry continues to issue warning about the market on social media, he apparently turned bullish on equities in the fourth quarter of 2023. According to the latest regulatory filing of Burry’s investment firm, Scion Asset Management, the investor boosted his portfolio from 13 stock positions to 25, more than doubling its value to $95 million in the process. The increased buying surprised many people as Burry had issued several grim forecasts for the stock market throughout last year, and placed options bets against both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices last summer. But now, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 at all-time highs, Burry seems to have changed his tune.

Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon (AMZN) logo on a corporate building

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Burry bought 30,000 shares of e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the final quarter of 2023, a stake worth right around $5 million based on the current share price. This appears to be a smart move by Burry, who got in on AMZN stock just before the company reported a strong print for Q4 2023, sending its stock up sharply as a result. So far this year, AMZN stock is up 13% and Burry likely captured all of that gain. Since the end of October last year, Amazon’s share price has increased 42%.

After struggling for the better part of two years, Amazon’s latest earnings showed the company is back on track. For the final three months of 2023, Amazon reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1 compared to 80 cents that was expected among analysts. Revenue totaled $170 billion versus $166.20 billion that was forecast. Sales were up 14% from a year ago due to strong holiday shopping. Amazon’s profit was up 3,233% from only 3 cents a year earlier. Burry looks to have gotten into AMZN stock at just the right time.

Oracle (ORCL)

ORCL stock: a 3-dimensional Oracle sign in an outdoor setting

Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Another new tech holding of Burry’s firm Scion Asset Management is Oracle (NYSE:ORCL). Burry purchased 50,000 shares of ORCL stock, which is now worth $5.5 million based on the current share price. The investing legend looks to have taken a shine to the third-largest software company in the world by revenue despite its stock sinking at the end of last year. In mid-December, Oracle’s share price fell 12% after the company reported revenue that missed Wall Street forecasts.

Despite the earnings disappointment, Oracle announced some exciting developments along with its latest print. These include revenue in its cloud infrastructure unit rising 52% year-over-year to $1.60 billion. Clients include Elon Musk’s new start-up company xAI. Oracle also picked up cloud business from rival Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and bought privately held Australian company Next Technik, which makes field service software, for an undisclosed amount of money.

It’s not known exactly when Burry bought ORCL stock in Q4 of last year, or if he took advantage of the post-earnings dip. But either way, this investment looks smart as Oracle’s share price has increased 7% so far in 2024. In the past 12 months, the stock has gained 30%.

Stellantis (STLA)

Stellantis (STLA) logo at the transmission factory. The Stellantis subsidiaries of FCA are Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram.

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

A notable stock that Burry dumped at the end of last year is automaker Stellantis (NYSE:STLA). The European-based company and parent of Chrysler saw its stock perform well in 2023, rising 64% on the year and outpacing rivals such as General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F). However, Burry looks to have exited his position in STLA stock and taken profits just as the automaker was in the thick of rotating strikes by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union last autumn.

The move to get rid of STLA stock looks smart as the company reported that the UAW strike cost it $3.2 billion in October of last year. The expensive new labor agreement reached with the UAW to end the work stoppage at its U.S. plants is likely to weigh on Stellantis’ earnings going forward, making it a smart move to sell the stock when Burry did. While STLA stock has continued to rally this year and is up another 11% since the start of January, Burry likely hedged his bets and took profits while he could.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in MSFT. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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