Fintwit is floating Burry’s 13F after his fund, Scion Asset Management, scooped up 200,000 shares of Altria [$MO] for about $7.7 million. This coming after a decisive earnings beat in October, where they raised the low end of their full-year profit outlook to $4.30 to $4.38. The Marlboro & Juul maker is still pumping out that juicy dividend value investors salivate over. And since Mikey is in commons, not options, he’ll enjoy every bit of that 8.5% yield.
This, however, is hardly Scion’s most valuable position. Dr Burry’s overweight list from top to bottom includes:
1. 40,000 $GOOG calls
2. 462,100 $CVS calls
3. 1.7 million shares of $GME
4. 416,600 $PFE calls
5. 73,600 $GS calls
6. 45,000 calls and 50,000 shares of $FB
7. 500,000 shares of $DISCA
8. 1 million shares of $UNIT
Twitter has gone bananas for Burry’s longs ever since he took a swing at GameStop and Tailored Brands, two beaten down stocks nobody wanted to touch. (One of which is now bankrupt, RIP $TLRD) During their earnings call, Altria said its tobacco business hadn’t seen any Covid-related sales depression throughout quarantine.
In fact, most stores that sell tobacco products have been able to stay open as essential businesses while people are staying home and smoking more. Altria is still recovering from recent vaping scandals, but the staunch cigarette industry has remained steady as older smokers, ill at ease over last year’s vaping scare, came back to cig’s after trying vaping. They took a $2.6 billion charge for their Juul investment, which docked their initial investment value of $1.6 billion.
After Altria reported results in October, Cowen analyst Vivien Azer said that “high unemployment combined with recent exacerbating virus trends presents uncertainty,” even as the company suggested usage trends were strong. Pre-pandy in January, the FDA announced it remove some vaping products from the market and ordered companies to discontinue sales on flavored, cartridge-based e-cigarettes other than tobacco or menthol. What’s more, The Federal Trade Commission in April also sued to decimate Altria’s seed money in Juul, purporting the move “eliminated competition in violation of federal antitrust laws.” Since the hysteria, Juul has cut jobs and shaken up leadership.