(Reuters) – Glenview Capital Management CEO Larry Robbins said at the Sohn Investment Conference on Monday that he’s shorting shares of industrial conglomerate 3M Co and is positive on healthcare stocks like Cigna Corp, Humana Inc and UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Despite his long call on HMO equities, Robbins said he does not like pharmaceutical stocks due to the political risk, with many Democratic presidential hopefuls – as well as President Donald Trump – opposed to lofty drug prices.
“In pharmaceuticals … the president can act unilaterally to reduce drug pricing,” Robbins warned. “The same drug in the United States costs three times as much as other” developed countries.
Robbins said Glenview has three long and 16 short positions in the pharmaceutical space and recommends investors short any ETF that tracks the space. Long a fan of healthcare stocks, Robbins in 2018 picked Express Scripts-Cigna, CVS-Aetna and McKesson as his winners in the field.
3M shares were down 2.2 percent in afternoon trading.
Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Nick Zieminski