Stan Druckenmiller Interview: Likes Amazon & Tencent, Short Retail ~ market folly

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Stan Druckenmiller Interview: Likes Amazon & Tencent, Short Retail

CNBC's Kelly Evans recently interviewed legendary investor Stan Druckenmiller, who previously worked with George Soros and then started his own firm Duquesne (which he now runs as a family office).

Regarding interest rates, he says he wants to see normalization, not so much just rates rising, as he noted there's a difference between the two.  The former, he says, is about re-establishing a hurdle rate for investment.

"Bitcoin, art, wine, equities, credit... you name it.  Everything is one way up.  And there's huge distortions taking place and it's all in the name of this 2% inflation target. And when you get a misallocation of resources, it really hinders growth over the longer term."

He notes there's companies out there borrowing tons of money that shouldn't be and gave Steinhoff as an example (which he mentioned he had been short).

He doesn't own any bitcoin as he says he trades only what he knows.  "It's worth what people are willing to pay for it."

This year, Druckenmiller says he's done well in stocks but he's really mistraded macro.  "I'm not up double digits.  I'm having, relative to the opportunity set, a terrible year."  He's had a bad time in currency trading apparently but his excellent equities returns have bailed him out, so to speak.

Turning to equities for 2018, he doesn't buy the narrative that this is all about earnings.  He says it's all about central bank radicalism.

But for specific stocks, he really likes the stocks he owns long-term.  There's a lot of disruption going on in tech.  He's also been short retail throughout the year and he expects that theme to continue.

On the long side: "I love Amazon (AMZN).  This company, which everyone keeps quoting the multiple... is selling for less than 3x sales.  They're dramatically underearning.  You have to look at the long-term earnings power of the company.  I think (CEO Jeff) Bezos is incredible."

In China, Druckenmiller really likes Tencent (700.HK) as they're in payments, videos, cloud, gaming, and a huge platform (WeChat).  Like AMZN, they're also underearning and trading at 40x with a 40% growth rate, he says you're getting it at 1x growth rate.

Regarding Tesla (TSLA), he said he doesn't like to short great products (he gave himself one for his birthday a while back).  He questions the long-term financial model of the company, though.

On Apple (AAPL), he doesn't find it as exciting as AMZN, Facebook (FB), or Alphabet (GOOG).  He thinks AAPL might be overearning and doesn't own it but isn't short either.  He likes Workday (WDAY) as it fits into the new economy.

He doesn't think tax reform will impact the stock market as it's already priced in and anyways he feels the market is driven by central bank policy anyways.

Embedded below is the video of CNBC's full interview with Stan Druckenmiller:


You can also read the full transcript of the interview here.

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