Bill Miller Wealthtrack Interview ~ market folly

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bill Miller Wealthtrack Interview

Bill Miller recently appeared on Consuelo Mack's WealthTrack for an interview.  He's beat the S&P 500 for 15 consecutive years when he worked at Legg Mason.  Then he had a few years of underperformance and has come back with Miller Value Partners, an independent investment advisory firm. 

Here are some of the key takeaways:

-  Looks for stocks trading at a discount to intrinsic business value (present value of future free cashflow): looks for business that are naturally cash generative and buys them when free cashflow yield is 50% or more higher than the market.

-  Noted that typical value investors look for accounting value versus economic value.  Cites them missing Amazon (AMZN) as an example over the past 20 years.

-  Miller looks for "companies that can earn above their cost of capital through an economic cycle."

-  "Where you can really make significant amounts of money is when an industry changes from being one that doesn't generate economic value to one that does."  One example of this he cites is the airlines now.  Now they've had positive cashflow ever since 2009.  He owns Delta (DAL), United (UAL), American Airlines (AAL).  Consolidation has played a huge role.  As we've noted before, Warren Buffett is also now a large shareholder of airlines.

- Also owns Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) equity in one fund and the bonds in another fund.  Notes that Bill Ackman has sold his VRX position.  Miller was buying around $30.  Thinks "perceived risk is way underpriced to real risk."  Thinks it could be a $50-60 stock in 3 or 4 years.

-  Miller thinks Apollo Group (APO) and Carlyle Group (CG) are cheap.  We've highlighted how Tiger Global has been buying APO as well.

-  Miller doesn't think the market is overvalued on a relative or absolute basis.  Especially compared to other asset classes it's cheap.

-  Likes Intrexon (XON), leading company in synthetic biology (think re-writing DNA). 

-  If he had to pick one stock to own for the long-term he'd pick Amazon (AMZN).  Compared it to Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) and their core business is the $500-600 billion ad market which is growing 5% a year.  Whereas AMZN's core business is retail.  US retail alone is $5 trillion so the total addressable market is huge.  Not to mention Amazon Web Services, etc.

Embedded below is the video of Bill Miller's Wealthtrack interview:

For more recent Wealthtrack interviews, we've also posted Consuelo Mack's interview with Joel Greenblatt.

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