Larry Robbins: Companies should borrow big

Larry Robbins, Founder, Portfolio Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Glenview Capital Management
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Larry Robbins, Founder, Portfolio Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Glenview Capital Management

Larry Robbins' big idea for companies is debt—loads of debt at a time when rates are still low but ready to rise.

The CEO at Glenview Capital Management believes that while capital markets still can be accessed for little cost, it makes all the sense in the world for companies to use that financing to boost their operations and share prices.

Share buybacks using low-cost money courtesy of the Federal Reserve's ultra-cheap monetary policies have been integral for the stock market's nearly 200 percent gain since 2009. With the Fed expected to raise rates in 2015, Robbins thinks companies ought to get in while the getting's still good and take on long-term debt.

"Instead of talking about (rate increases) shouldn't companies do something about it, which is to access the capital markets while they're free and available?" he said Wednesday at the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.

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Robbins featured six companies that he said are poised for growth: Monsanto, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Flextronics International, HCA Holdings, Hertz Global Holdings and National Oilwell Varco.

"Companies should be levering up now," he said. "They should be levering up either to buy back their own stock, or to acquire undervalued enterprises."

Novogratz picks 4

Michael Novogratz is having a rough year that he hopes will get better by taking strong positions in foreign markets.

At a time of low volatility, Novogratz and other hedge fund managers like him that focus on macro-based themes aren't doing so well. But he said there are stories around the world that deserve investor attention.

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"Macro has been a tough space to deliver alpha," Novogratz, principal at Fotress Investment Group, said. "Our fund is not off to a great year, and most macro funds aren't. Part of it is we're in this world of secular stagnation. Volatility is low, historically low."

Still, he sees opportunity, specifically in four countries: Japan, Brazil, India and Argentina.

In Japan, he advocates the stock market and the dollar-yen trade. In India he likes the surging stock market amid a political reform movement. The Brazil strategy is long on equities and interest rates, while Argentina, he said, is long stocks, bonds and currency after more than a decade of "some of the worst stewardship on Earth."

—By CNBC's Jeff Cox.