The family office run by The Big Short investor Michael Burry has disclosed a short position betting against Tesla Inc shares worth more than half a billion dollars.
Scion Asset Management said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it had put options on 800,100 shares in Tesla as of the end of the first quarter. Based on Tesla’s closing price of $667.93 at the end of the first quarter, the value of that many shares would be about $534m.
Details on the strike price of the puts, their value and whether they are part of a broader trade were not available. Scion Asset Management did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Put options give investors the right to sell shares at a certain price in the future.
One of the investors profiled in the book The Big Short and the film of the same name for betting more than a billion dollars against the United States housing bubble, Burry has been sceptical of Tesla’s sky-high valuations.
In February, he tweeted “my last Big Short got bigger and Bigger and BIGGER,” referring to Tesla’s surge in market capitalisation. “Enjoy it while it lasts,” he said.
Powered by strong sales and the company’s first annual profit, Tesla shares jumped more than eight times last year and hit a record high of $883 per share in January. But they have since fallen as hedge fund managers raise concerns that Tesla is overvalued.
The shares closed at $576 per share on Monday, valuing the electric car maker at around $555bn.
Burry also said last year that the green regulatory credits that Tesla has relied on to generate profits will dwindle as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) increases sales.
Stellantis, formed through the merger of Italy’s FCA and France’s PSA, said this month that it expects to achieve its European carbon dioxide emissions targets this year without environmental credits bought from Tesla.
Scion, which does not hold external capital, also lifted its exposure to energy last quarter, adding 530,000 shares in Golden Ocean Group, 323,823 shares in SunCoke Energy and 225,000 shares in Occidental Petroleum.