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High Profile Investors Share Investment Ideas


John Paulson, Dwight Anderson, David Einhorn, and Larry Robbins spoke at the Ira Sohn investment conference.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Over 3,000 of the world's most successful traders and hedge fund managers converged upon Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York yesterday for the 17th annual Ira Sohn investment conference.

The event, which supports the treatment and cure of pediatric cancer, saw some 14 high-profile investors present their best investment ideas to a crowd eager for market insight.

Here are some of the ideas from famed investors John Paulson, Dwight Anderson, David Einhorn, and Larry Robbins.

John Paulson:
Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who gained worldwide notoriety when he betted against the US housing market before it crashed and raked in billions, offered three long ideas: Caesars Entertainment (CZR), gold-mining company AngloGold Ashanti (AU) and CVR Energy (CVI).

Noting that he himself owns shares of Caesars, which went public in February, Paulson said that that Caesars had growth potential, given that it has plans to expand in Asia and domestically, including a new casino in Cleveland, and that it may soon also have online gaming revenue. Paulson said that Lakita, Caesars' social gaming platform, alone is worth $8 per share.

Paulson added that Caesars had no debt maturities until 2015, so it has three years to implement its growth strategy. He said that the price per share of Caesars could go up to $138.

Another long idea of Paulson's was AngloGold Ashanti. The stock has performed weakly over the past few years, in spite of the skyrocketing price of gold. However, that represents an opening in Paulson's view.

"For me, that represents an opportunity," Paulson opined. "If the earnings are growing but the stocks are falling, that means the stocks are at a better valuation than they were before."

The third Paulson long idea was CVR Energy, in which his hedge fund recently purchased a 9.9% stake. Currently hovering around the $30.50 mark, Paulson believes CVR Energy could go up to $36.00 per share.

Dwight Anderson:
Dwight Anderson was long one equity, Westlake Chemical (WLK), and one commodity, palladium.

Anderson believed that while competitors will keep losing money, Westlake's earnings ability should increase going forward, and he expected Westlake to earn about $5 per share this year.

Anderson, the managing partner at Ospraie Management, was long palladium because he believed palladium prices will rise relative to those of platinum, and that gasoline engines are increasingly utilizing palladium.

David Einhorn:
In his 30-minute long presentation, Einhorn went on an survey of investments and macroeconomic conditions around the world, in which he offered his vote of confidence for Apple (AAPL) and cracked a joke at the expense of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).

Einhorn was the only investor at the conference to bring up Facebook (FB), but only tangentially, as he said he was not a fan of the newly issued stock, preferring two Japanese social networks, DeNA and Gree, which were much cheaper and have greater monetization from their social gaming platforms.

His short ideas included Amazon (AMZN), whose high price-to-earnings ratio he questioned, adding that the company's future was "a riddle." Einhorn also called North Carolina-based company Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) problematic "on many levels," including a CEO who was a "megalomaniac." Another company he was short on was US Steel (X), because the company was bleeding cash in spite of strong advantages over its competitors. And with a slowing China economy and a slew of unionized employees retiring soon, the company's problems might not be solved anytime soon, he believed.

Larry Robbins:
Immediately, Larry Robbins presented a slide that said that he was long hospitals and life sciences, and short treasuries, utilities, and defense.

Specifically, Robbins was long for-profit hospitals like Tenet Healthcare (THC), Health Management Associates (HMA), HCA (HCA), and LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT). He pointed out that EBITDA for hospitals has grown every year, and according to his firm's calculations, hospitals come out on the positive side regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate.

The Glenview Capital founder's short idea was ITC Holdings (ITC). Robbins said that ITC does not have accounting issues, but that it was getting a "sweetheart deal" that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would not allow to go on forever.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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