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

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

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.

In his annual letter to shareholders, released on Feb. 28, Buffett said that 2014 was a "a good year for Berkshire on all major fronts except one," referring to the performance of Berkshire's BNSF Railways, the second-largest freight railway network in North America. Buffett is sticking by the acquisition, made in 2009, for the long term.

In the fourth quarter, Berkshire earned $4.16 billion, compared with $5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Earnings for the full year were also up, to $19.9 billion from $19.5 billion in 2013.

Buffett wrote that a "motherlode of opportunities runs through America." Today we're taking a closer look at some of those opportunities in the form of 10 stocks from Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio, according to the firm's most recent 13F filing that reflects holdings as of Dec. 31, 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. Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs (GS) has a current yield of 1.2%, paying a quarterly dividend of 60 cents a share.

Goldman Sachs is Buffett's 11th-largest holding, comprising 2.2% of the Berkshire Hathaway portfolio as of Dec. 31. In the most recently reported quarter, Buffett maintained a 12.6 million-share position in the stock.

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

"We rate Goldman Sachs (GS) 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 attractive valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings team are as follows:

  • Goldman Sachs' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, Goldman Sachs increased its bottom line by earning $17.07 versus $15.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($17.30 versus $17.07).
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • GS, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 12.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 12.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Capital Markets industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, Goldman Sachs has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

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

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