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Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend-Paying Stocks for 2015

Stocks in this article: BRK.B BRK.A WFC KO IBM AXP WMT PG XOM USB GS MCO

 NEW YORK (Stockpickr) -- At Stockpickr, we track the top holdings of a variety of high-profile investors, such as George Soros and Carl Icahn.

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It should come as no surprise that the most popular of these portfolios is that of renowned investor Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) and one of the richest people in the world.

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Today we're taking a closer look at 10 of Buffett's top dividend stocks, based on Berkshire Hathaway's most recent quarterly 13F filing with the SEC, which reflects holdings as of Sept. 30, 2014. These stocks each comprise at least 2.2% of Berkshire's portfolio, with current dividend yields of 1.2% and higher. They are listed by size of dividend yield.

10. American Express

American Express (AXP) has a current yield of 1.2%, paying a quarterly dividend of 26 cents a share.

American Express is Buffett's fourth-largest holding, comprising 12.3% of the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio as of Sept. 30. In the most recently reported quarter, Buffett maintained his 151.6 million-share position in the stock.

TheStreet Ratings team rates American Express as a buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings team has this to say about its recommendation:

"We rate American Express (AXP) a buy. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity, increase in net income and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • American Express has improved earnings per share by 14.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, American Express increased its bottom line by earning $5.55 versus $4.88 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.00 versus $5.55).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Consumer Finance industry and the overall market, American Express's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Consumer Finance industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 10.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,308.00 million to $1,447.00 million.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.4%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: AXP Ratings Report

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