WHEN: Today, Friday, September 11th
WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"
This week, CNBC's "Squawk Box" kicks off its 20th anniversary celebration with a line-up of big names in investing and politics. Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Capital Management LP Founder, CEO and Portfolio Manager on CNBC's "Squawk Box" today. Following are links to the video on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000419765, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000419766 and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000419767.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
ACKMAN ON BEING MORE BULLISH
I WOULD SAY I'M PROBABLY A LITTLE MORE BULLISH THAN MR. TEPPER. THE REASON FOR THAT IS JUST SORT OF VALUATION. TODAY I THINK STOCK MARKET ON CALL IT NEXT YEAR ESTIMATES IS SOMETHING LESS THAN 15 TIMES EARNINGS, RIGHT? SO THE EARNINGS YIELD IN THE STOCK MARKET IS SOMETHING APPROACHING 7%, RIGHT? THIS IS IN A 2% -- SLIGHTLY MORE THAN A 2% TEN-YEAR ENVIRONMENT. THAT'S ABOUT THE WIDEST SPREAD, RIGHT? YOU CAN EARN A MUCH HIGHER – AND BY THE WAY, THE EXPECTATION OVER TIME SHOULD BE THAT THE EQUITY YIELDS WILL INCREASE AS COMPANIES REPORT OVER TIME. NOT IN A SMOOTH LINE UP, BUT REPORT HIGHER PROFITABILITY.
ACKMAN ON MONDELEZ
I THINK THIS MEETS OUR STANDARD FOR A SIMPLE, PREDICTABLE, FREE CASH FLOW GENERATIVE, DOMINANT COMPANY WITH A LOT OF GROWTH AHEAD OF IT. SO THAT'S A GREAT BACKDROP FOR ANY INVESTMENT. THEN YOU HAVE A BUSINESS THAT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE CANDY BUSINESS, RIGHT? THIS IS AN EXTREMELY HIGH MARGIN – IT SHOULD BE AN EXTREMELY HIGH MARGIN BUSINESS. YOU LOOK AT THE HERSHEY'S OF THE WORLD. YOU'RE TALKING MID-20s TYPE PROFIT MARGINS.
ACKMAN ON MONDELEZ MANAGEMENT
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THE CURRENT TEAM CAN GET TO THE PROMISED LAND. BUT I THINK ONE OF A COUPLE THINGS WILL HAPPEN. RIGHT? EITHER THE CURRENT TEAM WILL GET THE BUSINESS TO ITS POTENTIAL IN A REASONABLY RAPID FASHION, OR IT WILL BE A TARGET. AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, FROM BUFFETT'S PERSPECTIVE, I ALSO – IF YOU ARE A BUYER YOU DON'T WANT TO BE TELLING PEOPLE TO BUY – YOU WOULDN'T BE RECOMMENDING STOCKS IN YOUR UNIVERSE BECAUSE THAT IS GOING TO MAKE THE PRICES HIGHER.
ACKMAN ON HERBALIFE
THE LAST WAY WE WIN HERE IS JUST BASIC BUSINESS DETERIORATION.THE COMPANY'S BUSINESS IS DECLINING DOUBLE DIGITS IN PRETTY MUCH EVERY MARKET AROUND THE WORLD EXCEPT FOR CHINA. CHINA HAS BEEN THE GROWTH ENGINE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF QUARTERS, UP 38% IN THE LAST QUARTER. AND BY THE WAY, THIS CHARACTERISTIC OF MASSIVE GROWTH AND FAIRLY MASSIVE DECLINES IS SOMETHING YOU SEE IN PYRAMID SCHEMES. YOU DON'T SEE THIS IN COMPANIES SELLING NUTRITION SHAKES, RIGHT? IF YOU LOOK AT –OR IN COMPANIES SELLING FOOD. THEY THINK OF THEMSELVES IN THE FOOD BUSINESS. MONDELEZ DOESN'T HAVE MASSIVE GROWTH IN CHINA ONE QUARTER AND THEN, YOU KNOW, DECLINING 25% IN ANOTHER MARKET. SO LOOK, I THINK THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS TO WIN, BUT IF WE ARE WRONG WE FOLD UP THE TENT AND WE MOVE ON.
ACKMAN ON BEING PUBLIC
THIS IS AN INHERENTLY HEALTHY PHENOMENON. WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT THE ARTICLE IS THE LAST SENTENCE HE TALKS ABOUT, IS IT RIGHT FOR A SORT OF HEDGE FUND MANAGER OPERATING BEHIND CLOSED DOORS IN PRIVATE MEETINGS. THERE'S NOTHING CLOSED DOOR PROJECT ABOUT OUR INVESTMENT IN HERBALIFE, RIGHT? WE GAVE THE MOST PUBLIC, MOST TRANSPARENT PRESENTATION. 350 SLIDES, WE HAD MULTIPLE PRESENTATIONS, WE HAVE A WEBSITE WITH EVERY PIECE OF RESEARCH WE'VE DONE PLUS ALL THE SOURCE DOCUMENTS. ISN'T THAT AN INCREDIBLY HEALTHY THING FOR MARKET TRANSPARENCY.
ACKMAN ON PREET BHARARA
THIS IS NOT A BET ON ONLY WHAT THE FTC IS GOING TO DO. SINCE WE'VE ALERTED THE WORLD ABOUT THIS COMPANY, THE FTC, THE SEC, AND I THINK MOST SIGNIFICANTLY THE DOJ. PREET BHARARA IS A MAN WITH A MISSION AND IS A VERY TOUGH REGULATOR. RECENT COMMENTS ABOUT HE'S NOT JUST GOING TO PROSECUTE COMPANIES, BUT HE'S GOING TO HOLD EXECUTIVES RESPONSIBLE.
ACKMAN ON ALLERGAN
WHAT WE DID IN ALLERGAN WAS WE CALLED THE QUESTION AND ALLOWED SHAREHOLDERS TO DECIDE WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO WITH THE FUTURE OF THEIR BUSINESS. AND I THINK THAT THERE ARE ACQUIRERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO – COMPANIES THEY WOULD LIKE TO BUY. THERE ARE TRANSACTIONS THAT DON'T HAPPEN FOR "SOCIAL ISSUES" THAT I THINK WE CAN HELP CATALYZE. SO I THINK IT'S VERY LIKELY WE WILL PARTNER WITH ANOTHER STRATEGIC TO MAKE A BID FOR A BUSINESS. WE MAY NOT GET IT, BUT, YOU KNOW, IF THE OUTCOME FOR SHAREHOLDERS IS THE BUSINESS EITHER IMPROVES ON ITS OWN OR IT GETS SOLD TO SOMEONE ELSE, I THINK THATS A WIN.
ACKMAN ON THE FUTURE OF HIS STOCKS
I CAN'T TELL YOU WHERE ANY OF OUR STOCKS ARE GOING TO BE NEXT MONTH. I CAN'T EVEN TELL YOU EVEN WHERE THEY ARE GOING TO BE AT THE END OF THE YEAR. WHAT I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT THE BUSINESSES WE OWN – MONDELEZ WILL BE A MUCH MORE VALUABLE COMPANY, YOU KNOW, A YEAR FROM NOW THAN IT IS TODAY. AND TWO YEARS FROM NOW, IT'S GOING TO BE EVEN MORE VALUABLE. AND CP IS GOING TO BE A MUCH MORE VALUABLE COMPANY.
ACKMAN ON LONG TERM ACTIVISM
BILL ACKMAN: ACTIVISTS ARE LONG-TERM INVESTORS.
BECKY QUICK: NOT ALL OF THEM.
ACKMAN: NOT ALL OF THEM. LOOK, AGAIN, I THINK THERE'S A SPECTRUM. IT IS JUST LIKE HEDGE FUND MANAGERS AND MUTUAL FUND MANAGERS. WHAT WE DO IS, YOU KNOW, TEN YEARS AGO PEOPLE ACCUSED US OF BEING SHORT-TERM. WE HAD BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR A YEAR. IT'S HARD TO PROVE WE ARE A LONG-TERM INVESTOR. YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU'RE MOVING AROUND $20 BILLION, IT'S HARD TO DO THAT CONSTANTLY BUYING AND SELLING THINGS. YOU'RE MUCH BETTER OFF BUYING SUPER HIGH QUALITY COMPANIES.
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