Top picks from billionaire hedge fund pro

Larry Robbins, chief executive officer of Glenview Capital Management
Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Billionaire investor Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital Management doesn't have unbridled optimism on the stock market, but he thinks stocks like Thermo Fisher, Monsanto and Flextronics provide an excellent opportunity, especially compared to ultralow bond yields.

"Glenview is not wildly bullish on the market. We would just simply say the conditions are normal for us to run the playbook we normally do, which is find great companies at good or great prices and then engage with them to do smart things to build value," Robbins said Thursday in New York at the Harbor Investment Conference in an on-stage interview with fellow hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.

Robbins again recommended buying the stock of agricultural and chemical giant Monsanto. The company is the second-largest holding for Glenview, which has about $10 billion under management. Thermo Fisher is first and Flextronics is third.

He said the world would need about 3 percent more food per acre of farmable land over the next 20 years and that genetically modified foods and "informatics," areas where Monsanto is a leader, are the most likely way to meet that demand. Informatics refers data-driven research to improve crops.