Great Investors' Best Ideas Dallas 2014 Notes: Ackman, Einhorn, Perry & More ~ market folly

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Great Investors' Best Ideas Dallas 2014 Notes: Ackman, Einhorn, Perry & More

The 2014 edition of Great Investors Best Ideas Dallas took place this week benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation.

2014 GIBI Dallas Notes

Bill Ackman (Pershing Square):  He was positive on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FNMA & FMCC), which have obviously seen volatility as of late.  They own 10% of each and are quite bullish.  They've been buying both and say private property can't be taken by the government.  Pershing owns common versus the preferred and think it's just as good of an investment.  Thinks there's an opportunity for settlement.

David Einhorn (Greenlight Capital):  He continues to like Micron (MU) and Apple (AAPL), and also really likes Greek banks.  AAPL/MU his 2 largest stakes.  Says DRAM has been a bad business for a while and should make $4 per share as the industry is only 3 players now after consolidation.  Likes Greek banks as they're at or below book value.  Also likes shorting French government bonds: Marine Le Pen wants to leave the Euro and bonds yield around 1%.

Richard Perry (Perry Capital):  Based on his pitch that was circulated a few months ago, Perry likes the idea of containerboard sponsored MLPs (they've owned International Paper (IP), KapStone Paper (KS), and Rock-Tenn (RKT)).  He also likes tax loss candidates of AIG (AIG) and Ally Financial (ALLY).  ALLY = Trading below book value but should trade 1x at least.  Government still owns 15%, last sold some @ $25, trades $22.50 now, should finish selling at year-end.  Also says Perry is appealing the Fannie/Freddie ruling and that this particular judge has been overturned a bunch.

T. Boone Pickens (BP Capital): He was positive on Marathon Oil (MRO) and Clean Energy (CLNE) again.  2 of his picks last year were up (FANG and BAS), except for CLNE which is down big.  He owns 20m shares, could be biased "pride of ownership".  Says he thinks we drill too much and US is only place that's growing production.  Likes MRO because it's cheaper on EV/EBITDA than peers like XOM and OXY.  Says we won't see $10 natural gas in his lifetime.

Michael Price (MFP Investors): 2 ideas (1 old, 1 new): Still likes Dolby (DLB, old idea).  55% of the company is owned by kids of the company.  PC sales dropped but have recovered.  Company can see new growth in India/China.  Undervalued stock, attractive to private equity and Apple.  Also likes FMC Corp (FMC), new idea.  Stock whacked on overreaction that company won't be splitting into two parts.  Thinks it trades $120 or so in next few years.

Tom Russo (Gardner Russo & Gardner): They like family controlled businesses.  Look for 50 cent dollars.  Focuses on global consumer stocks.  He was positive on Cie Financiere Richemont SA.

Paul Isaac (Arbiter Partners):  He likes Credit Agricole Regional Banks.  CMO, CRTO, CCN, CAF, CIV, CRSU.  40% price to tangible book value.  Well capitalized and inexpensive on relative basis.  Shorted French 10 yr bonds to hedge as there is euro risk.  Also pitched Japanese General Trading Companies.  8001.JP, 8002.JP, 8031.JP, etc.  Some 70% tangible book value, trading 6x PE.

Bill Miller (LMM): Buy the homebuilders as he likes the sector in general.  Specifically mentioned KB Homes (KBH), Lennar (LEN) and Pulte (PHM).  Market at new highs yet builders aren't even though they've got a nice clean path for earnings growth.  Says employment is the key and housing starts are improving.  He also said he likes Intrexon (XON).   This is a bet on management, who owns a huge chunk of the company.  Big upside but also could lose half your investment.

Ray Nixon (Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss):  He's positive on Q4 tax loss candidates, noting that many mutual funds end fiscally in October so there's various pressures that month, not to mention that it's one of the worst months historically.  Recommends buying across October, November and into December.  Buy a basket of tax loss names.  Pitched Mattel (MAT):  Stock's down over 30%, losing Disney license in 2016, losing shelf space, missed the past 3 quarters.  He says toy industry is growing 5%, likes the dividend yield, and points to $1b in cash on balance sheet.  They've started buying shares.

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