TPG-Axon's Dinakar Singh Likes Sirius XM & Time Warner Cable: Interview ~ market folly

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TPG-Axon's Dinakar Singh Likes Sirius XM & Time Warner Cable: Interview

Dinakar Singh, CEO of $4 billion TPG-Axon Capital recently sat down with Bloomberg TV so we wanted to post up some of the highlights of his rare appearance.

It seems as though he is betting against telecom stocks and is also bearish on some financials (in particular US regional banks).  He's bullish on names like Sirius XM (SIRI), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and W.R. Grace (GRA).  He sees growth in the chemical, aerospace, and healthcare industries.

A graphic on screen showed TPG-Axon's key long exposures in tech & media: SIRI, TWC, Viacom (VIA.B), Kabel Deutschland, Equinix (EQIX), Expedia (EXPE), (PCLN), and Yandex (YNDX).

On the current environment:   “For us, we pick stocks. That is how we make money. More and more, everyone has become more emotional in markets. We get scared by headlines and we all start acting the same way whether you are a CEO or a consumer. Jobs do matter. I think when you look at the U.S. in the last number of months, our view coming in this year is that people got too excited. There was a bounce back from last year and some good weather but it was going to be a slow gradual sloppy messy restructuring without a big recovery. Things have reversed. I think people are getting too pessimistic…I think ultimately consumers and CEOs are reading the same headlines and scared. I think you are seeing a cyclical or temporary step down. We do not think there one should expect a big bounce, but there won’t be much of a plunge either. It feels like the numbers are crummy but they will probably stay this way for a while. The fiscal cliff is a real issue. I think you're seeing an impact right now.”  

On how to play this market:   “People have gotten scared and they’re paying a lot for safety. On the safety side, people like dividends in safe industries. So Verizon is trading 18 times earnings because people want safety and a good dividend. There are companies like Time Warner Cable that we think are just as defensive but they did not happen to pay a dividend, they have even better cash flow, but they traded as a result much less well last year. For us, big opportunity. So media and cable that’s very cash flow rich and where we think management is going to turn that spigot on and turn it into a dividend or buy back machine that makes sense. Sirius, Time Warner Cable, companies like that. On the cyclical side, not everything is terrible. There are some sectors where we think there is good structural growth and balance sheets will be put to work. Some chemical companies are very good restructuring candidates. Aerospace suppliers.  Aerospace is in the middle innings of a very long term upgrade cycle.”

On telecom services:   “In a hedge fund, this is called a funding short. It is not that you think it is terrible and going straight to 0, but it is priced fully and not going up much so not a very good risk reward. Within telecom services there are two categories. There are the Verizons, we get it, they trade here for a reason, but they are pretty fully priced. On the other side, there are other companies that are legacy telecom companies where the dividend is a very high, but business really is eroding. It is priced well today because of a high dividend, but it is not sustainable. When you look around the world, a lot of high dividend stocks in Europe are not trading well because people are looking at them and saying I get it. I have a dividend today but it might not be there tomorrow.”

On China:   “If you look at China specifically, multiples had really collapsed…You have two general types of companies. Big, state-owned companies that people don’t trust and private companies that people really don’t trust. There isn’t a lot that trades at big multiples anymore. I think if you can find cases where there is real growth and they can pay cash back to you, you’ll make money.”

Embedded below is the first part of the interview of Dinakar Singh's interview with Bloomberg TV:

And here's the second part:

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