Miller Continues to Rebound, Likes Financials, Healthcare

Bill Miller, the legendary Legg Mason Value Trust manager who beat the market for 15 straight years before falling on very tough times in the past three, is almost doubling the S&P 500 in 2009, and is high on financials, healthcare, and technology stocks.

Miller tells Barron’s that in the next five to 10 years the market will see “a long-lasting rally in very high quality mega-caps after this one-year ‘dash to trash.’ … You can buy the best in the market and still outperform for many, many years.”

Over a quarter of Miller’s portfolio remains in financials, according to Barron’s — a sector that killed him last year. This year, however, his fund is up more than 37%, compared to about 20% for the S&P. Among his financial holdings (as of June 30): State Street, NYSE Euronext, and Goldman Sachs.

In terms of healthcare, Miller says that “This is the best time to buy health care since HillaryCare,” in the early 90s. He likes Aetna, UnitedHealth, and Aflac, according to Barron’s

Miller’s biggest holding is AES, a global power company. And, in the tech sector, he likes IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

Miller also discusses what went wrong for his fund in recent years, and explains his strategy. His portfolio “consists of names that are ‘cyclically mispriced’ (traditional deep value) as well as stocks that are ‘secularly mispriced’,” according to Barron’s. “All the securities trade at a discount to the firm’s assessment of their intrinsic business value. He defines that as the present value of the future free cash flows.”

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