Nelson Peltz says he’s bullish on a vaccine, putting new money to work and voting for Trump

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KEY POINTS
  • Peltz, known on Wall Street as an activist investor who often seeks changes at his companies, said he was putting new capital to work at two new firms.
  • Though the billionaire investor said he wasn’t buying the stock market outright, Peltz said he is optimistic on the Covid-19 vaccine outlook.
  • He also praised the Trump administration and said he plans to vote to reelect the president in November.

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Trian Partners Chief Executive Nelson Peltz told CNBC on Thursday that he’s deployed the fund’s capital in new investments, is optimistic that a Covid-19 vaccine will be developed before long and that he plans to vote to reelect President Donald Trump in November.

Peltz, also known on Wall Street as an activist investor who often seeks changes at his companies, said he was putting new capital to work and that Trian has “a couple candidates that we really like.”

“We like these companies, we think they’ve been beaten down a bit too much, and we believe there’s great value there … I’ve initiated new positions,” he said on “Halftime Report.” Peltz said he didn’t want to discuss the two companies yet, but that the recent market sell-off made the equities a compelling buy.

Peltz’s comments were in stark contrast to those from other major hedge fund managers.

On Wednesday, Appaloosa Management founder David Tepper told “Halftime Report” that this is the second-most overvalued market he has ever seen. Duquesne Family Office’s Stanley Druckenmiller said earlier in the week that the risk-reward for owning stocks right now is “as bad as I’ve seen it in my career.”

Asked by CNBC’s Scott Wapner what he makes of Warren Buffett’s warning to investors to remain cautious in their purchases, Peltz said the “Oracle of Omaha” is at liberty to do with his cash as he wishes. But that doesn’t mean Trian can’t selectively invest in stocks it sees as compelling opportunities, Peltz said.

Buffett said May 2 that while “nothing can basically stop America,” investors should be judicious when selecting their investments. “You can bet on America but you have to be careful about how you bet,” Buffett said at the time. “Markets can do anything.”

But Peltz countered: “He’s entitled to his opinion. I’m entitled to ours. I’m not buying the market: I’m buying specific companies. In this case, two companies that I like very much.”

“When they get to the price that I like, which they’ve been to, then we buy,” he said.

Though the billionaire investor said he wasn’t purchasing the stock market outright, he said he is optimistic on the coronavirus vaccine outlook.

“I’m positive. I think that vaccine is going to come sooner than later,” he said. “This thing is not going to last forever. There’s still loads of value in the market because the market is primarily a tech market.”

Peltz said he was uplifted by a conversation he had with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s chief financial officer. The billionaire investor said the Pfizer exec said the company expects to have three to four potential coronavirus remedies in development by July.

He also praised the Trump administration and said he plans to vote to reelect the president in November.

“His policies, to me, are the right policies for America,” Peltz said. “These are the right policies — these policies should have been put in place ages ago.”

“We have exported tens of millions of jobs — of manufacturing jobs over the last 40, 50 years, pick whatever time frame you want. We exported them generously: We gave them to Europe, we gave them to Asia. Now it’s time to bring those jobs back.”

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