Omega Advisors founder Leon Cooperman isn’t a fan of where the stock market is heading, and he thinks certain sectors aren’t getting the love they deserve while companies like Tesla have become darlings that don’t deserve the massive hype.
“I would say we’re in the early stages of knocking on the door of euphoria, but we’re not quite (fully in) euphoria,” Cooperman said in an interview with Scott Wapner on CNBC’s “Halftime Report” on Tuesday. “Certain parts of the market are in euphoria like Tesla. Other parts of the market, like energy, are in pessimism.”
Cooperman has taken that pessimism as a buying opportunity, and said he’s positioned about 15% of his money in the energy sector.
“I think the market has gone overboard in their negative view of energy. It’s like they can’t own enough Tesla and they can’t divest enough of their energy,” Cooperman said. “The fact is if the economy grows, energy demand is going to grow.”
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has been on a tear lately after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019, while the stock overall has surged more than 330% since June 2019. Its earnings for the last quarter were $2.14 per share compared to the $1.72 that was expected.
And the stock isn’t done. Wednesday saw the stock rise even further and it was up about 8% at 2 p.m. EST after Tesla revealed its plan to use new batteries on its production lines in Shanghai, China.
But is Cooperman’s move into energy a good idea? The sector has struggled amid persistently low oil prices along with high costs of operation. The Energy Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund (NYSEARCA: XLE) has lost 18% over the last year, and that could only be the beginning as investors weigh the effects of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
The virus affects demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel amid cancelled flights and locked-down cities from the virus that has now affected more than 75,000 people, and killed more than 2,000. But oil prices did rise 2.5% on Wednesday as the number of new cases saw some decline.
Only time will tell if Cooperman’s bet pays off but for right now, it looks like Tesla is winning.