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Hedge fund Glenview's Robbins lists McDonald's as a favorite pick

Thu 12th February, 2015 9:00pm
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss 
    NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Larry 
Robbins on Thursday called fast food restaurant McDonald's Corp 
 MCD.N  a "uniquely interesting opportunity" thanks to a new 
chief executive and a board that he expects will become more 
focused over the coming months. 
    Robbins, who runs the $11 billion Glenview Capital 
Management hedge fund and was ranked as 2013's best performing 
hedge fund manager, listed McDonald's as one of his portfolio's 
lesser-known favorite picks - placing it alongside his 
more-widely-discussed favorites Thermo Fisher  TMO.N , Monsanto 
 MON.N  and Flextronics  FLEX.O . 
    Robbins attends many conferences and talks often about his 
top picks. At the Harbor Investment Conference he joked that 
he's talked about everything. 
    McDonald's operating characteristics are "subpar," he said, 
but he thinks Steve Easterbrook, who will take over the CEO role 
on March 1, is aware of this and will work on it. 
    He also said that nominations for directors to McDonald's 
board can be made, which suggests that new members might join.  
"At a minimum, the board will be more focused," Robbins said. 
    Robbins also said that the fund had trimmed its investments 
in hospital-sector companies going into the end of 2014. He did 
not elaborate on why.  
    At the end of the third quarter, Tenet Healthcare Corp 
 THC.N  was one of his biggest investments. 
    Generally, Robbins, whose Capital Opportunity Fund gained an 
average 57 percent a year over the last three years, said he 
likes to pick business sectors where companies allocate capital 
well rather than trying to pick individual winners and losers. 
    Robbins was being interviewed about his favorite picks by 
William Ackman, the best hedge fund manager of 2014. Ackman and 
Mark Axelowitz, a managing director at UBS Private Wealth 
Management, run the conference.     
 
 (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Richard Valdmanis 
and Nick Zieminski) 
 ((svea.herbst@thomsonreuters.com; +617 856 4331; Reuters 
Messaging: svea.herbst.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) 
 
Keywords: HEDGEFUNDS GLENVIEW/
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