Leon Cooperman on Bonds, Stocks, and Apple vs. Research in Motion ~ market folly

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leon Cooperman on Bonds, Stocks, and Apple vs. Research in Motion

Leon Cooperman of hedge fund firm Omega Advisors yesterday sat down with Bloomberg Television to talk about the markets, his portfolio, and what he likes/dislikes at this juncture.

On Treasuries:

Cooperman said that, "I have great confidence the Fed is ultimately going to get their way. The Fed is trying to elevate asset prices, help consumption, help the economy and in two-three years time, we will be worrying about inflation and interest rates will be materially higher. An instrument that I have absolutely no interest in - the most widely traded instrument in the world - is US government bonds. I don’t think people understand how risky a US government bond is at 2% return."

On Equities:

After bashing government bonds, Cooperman also examined the potential of investing in high yield bonds but dismissed them as fully priced. So he turned to equities and said that, "the S&P, which is 13 ½ earnings, yields a bit over 2%, 10% below the historical multiple at a time when interest rates are below historical and you can find lots of cheap stocks out there that will yield more than bonds today that are good companies that will grow over time."

This is largely in line with what the hedgie has been preaching for sometime now. We've highlighted in the past his trademark phrase that equities are the best house in the financial asset neighborhood.

On Apple (AAPL) versus Research in Motion (RIMM):

The Omega Advisors founder thinks Apple (AAPL) is worth north of $600. On Research in Motion (RIMM), he notes that, "It's funny, it was really like a mass hysteria. We put about a half of one percent of our assets into RIM late last year on a theory that they had a revenue base that was being mispriced by the market. Which was 20% of what we had in Apple, we've owned Apple now for a long time, and we continue to own a big position, so we had five times more Apple investment than RIM."

He says they sold RIMM due to stop loss discipline, but he admits that it's still intriguing. David Einhorn's hedge fund Greenlight Capital recently bought shares of RIMM, as highlighted in this free excerpt from our newsletter.

Cooperman also mentioned that he likes gold, Qualcomm (QCOM), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Altisource Portfolio Solutions (ASPS), Unitedhealthcare (UNH), WellPoint (WLP), Boston Scientific (BSX), Echostar (SATS), and Dish Network (DISH).

Embedded below is the video from Cooperman's interview with Bloomberg TV:

For more from this hedgie, you can view Cooperman's presentation on risks to the equity outlook.

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