Where Glenview Founder Larry Robbins Is Bullish on Covid-19 Vaccine Optimism

Glenview Capital Management founder Larry Robbins is upbeat about the development of Covid-19 vaccines, making him optimistic about some sectors but still wary of others.

“For the first time in this battle, in the last several weeks there’s been real light at the end of the tunnel,” Robbins said Thursday at the New York Alternative Investment Roundtable’s online event. “We do believe that there will be millions of doses given in December,” he said, with frontline workers and the elderly being among the first to receive it and the second phase of distribution beginning as early as March.

“We think Pfizer files tomorrow,” Robbins said, referring to government authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine. “We think we are in a cadence now where every week, or every two weeks, you’re going to get good news from another supplier,” he said, explaining that means good data on their vaccines or ways to ship them to the markets.

Robbins expects that beaten-down hospital stocks — such as Glenview’s largest holding, Tenet Healthcare Corp. — are likely to rise as deferred procedures such as knee replacements and cataract surgeries get done once vaccinated patients feel safe.

“If one wanted to simply throw darts, I think you can own the hospital industry, the hospital-supply industry,” he said. “I think you can own the medical-device industry, I think you can own the lab industry.”

While stocks in these areas have risen from their lows, Robbins still sees “enormous amount of growth and value in front of them.” That’s in contrast with other industries.

Glenview is not long on areas such as airlines and cruise ships, because of the material amount of cash they’re losing each day the pandemic persists, according to Robbins. “Good news rallies” for such businesses “are extremely short-lived,” he said, because of all the borrowing they’ve done to fund operating losses. “That’s debt they’ll eventually have to pay back,” he said.

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