Barron's highlights the notable picks and pans of a group of well-respected investment managers who met last week for the Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference.
David Einhorn, head of Greenlight Capital, is bearish on Moody's (MCO) because of its 'shattered brand.' (Einhorn was on the mark at last year's conference with his bearish call on Lehman Brothers.)
Steve Mandel, who runs Lone Pine Capital, noted the great value of some franchises compared to 'struggling' stocks that are popular as recovery plays. He likes Strayer (STRA), a for-profit education company, with strong management and good growth potential. The stock isn't cheap but he sees plenty of room for upside growth.
Mark Kingdon, of Kingdon Capital Management, likes Bank of America (BAC), and thinks the stock could double in a year.
David Sokol, of MidAmerican Energy Holdings (BRK.A), offered a cautious view of the housing and electric-utility markets. He doesn't expect housing to normalize until mid-2011 because of supply overhang, while electric utilities are getting hurt by higher borrowing and building costs and could face a challenge from climate legislation.
William Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management, likes General Growth Properties (GGWPQ.PK), the shopping mall operator that filed for bankruptcy last month. It 'isn't your typical bankruptcy,' Ackman said, and equity holders might do well. The stock could eventually be worth $10-30.
Jim Chanos, of Kynikos Associates, is bearish on education stocks and industries that rely heavily on government payouts like drugs and defense. In particular, he's bearish on Lincare Holdings (LNCR) because the company could see 'dramatic profit deterioration.'
Joseph Healey, of health-care hedge fund HealthCor, likes Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX) and Hologic (HOLX), and thinks both stocks could double. Hologic could also become a takeover target for GE (GE) or Siemens (SI).
Lee Hobson, of Highside Capital Management, recommends Millicom International (MICC) as a great way to play the market for wireless phones in the developing world. He's bearish on Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers (RBA), which will likely be hurt by falling equipment prices.