Buffett has for years maintained a strict no-dividends policy at Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) - Get Free Report (BRK.B) - Get Free Report . The conglomerate has paid only one dividend during his tenure, in 1967, and he has joked that he "must have been in the bathroom" when the decision was made.
"The question is about evaluating Berkshire when it doesn't pay any dividends," the billionaire said in a 1998 lecture at the University of Florida Business School. "And it won't pay dividends, either. That's a promise I can keep. All you get with Berkshire stock is that you can stick it in your safe deposit box, and every year you take it out and fondle it."
While Buffett won't distribute dividends to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, he has no qualms about collecting them from others. Most of the companies in his investment portfolio make regular dividend payments.
The irony isn't lost on him.
"A number of Berkshire shareholders -- including some of my good friends -- would like Berkshire to pay a cash dividend. It puzzles them that we relish the dividends we receive from most of the stocks that Berkshire owns, but pay out nothing ourselves," he wrote in his 2012 letter to investors.
If you're looking for dividends from the Oracle of Omaha, you won't find them at Berkshire Hathaway -- but you will uncover them in a number of his top stocks.
We pulled 10 dividend-paying stocks from Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway portfolio, according to the firm's most recent 13F filing, which reflects holdings as of June 30, 2016. Each comprises at least 1% of Berkshire's public equity portfolio and has a dividend yield of 2% or higher.
Buffett bought into the automaker in 2012 and currently holds 50 million shares. The company has a 1.1% allocation in his holdings. The Oracle of Omaha has in the past voiced his support for CEO Mary Barra and in a 2014 CNN interview called her "dynamite" after a lunch meeting. "I was really impressed," he said. He also backed her in a potential proxy battle in early 2015.
General Motors designs, builds and sells cars, crossovers, trucks and automobile parts worldwide. The company operates through GM North America, GM Europe, GM International Operations, GM South America and GM Financial segments. It has a $50 billion market cap and trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 4.06.
Buffett's No. 4 position consists of 81.2 million shares of IBM, which make up 9.5% of his portfolio. IBM has been among his Berkshire stock picks since 2011. IBM's rocky performance in recent years has led some onlookers to doubt Buffett's investment, but the billionaire said in an interview with CNBC earlier this year that he has no regrets, even if it does wind up being a mistake.
"What you pay for a stock doesn't mean anything. What means something is where the company's going to be in five to 10 years," he said. "I think IBM will be worth more money, but, like I said, I could be wrong. But we'll accept that."
IBM provides information technology products and services worldwide. It has a $154.8 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 13.12.
Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Free Report has a quarterly dividend history that stretches across more than two decades. It slashed its dividend significantly during the 2009 financial crisis, cutting it to 5 cents per share. It has since gradually upped its distribution, which is now 38 cents per share. The financial services company's dividend yield is 3.2%.
Buffett's second-largest holding, Wells Fargo makes up 17.5% of the billionaire's public equity portfolio. Berkshire owns 479.7 million shares as of June 30. Buffett has been singing the company's praises for years, and in his 1990 letter to Berkshire shareholders called it a "superbly-managed, high-return banking operation."
A provider of retail, commercial and corporate banking services to individuals, businesses and institutions, Wells Fargo has a $241.7 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 11.83.
TheStreet's Jim Cramer owns Wells Fargo in his Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio. "We appreciate Wells' consistency, strong dividend and lack of exposure to volatility across trading and investment banking," he recently said of the stock.
Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Free Report has paid a quarterly dividend since 1920 and has increased dividends in each of the last 50 years. It currently distributes a quarterly payout of 35 cents per share and has a yield of 3.2%.
Buffett has for a long time been one of the international beverage corporation's biggest fans, going as far to as declare in a CNBC interview that he is "one-quarter Coca-Cola." At the company's 2013 shareholders meeting, Buffett said that he had never sold a share of Coke stock and that he never would.
"I'm the kind of guy who likes to bet on sure things," he said. "No business has ever failed with happy customers -- and you're selling happiness."
As of June 30, Buffett owns 400 million Coca-Cola shares, and the company comprises 14% of his public equity portfolio.
Coca-Cola, a beverage company, manufactures and distributes various nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. It has a $190 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 26.37.
Buffett employed a bit of trickery on the public front on Phillips 66 with his second-quarter 2015 13F by omitting the energy and manufacturing logistics company from his public filing. A few weeks later, an amended document revealed he had actually added to his position. As of June 30, he owns 78.8 million shares of the company, for a 4.8% allocation in his public equity portfolio.
Phillips 66 is an energy manufacturing and logistics company. It operates through four segments: midstream, chemicals, refining, and marketing and specialties. It has a $41.2 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 13.16.
Buffett decreased his stake in the company slightly during the first quarter to 22 million shares. The firm comprises 1.4% of his holdings.
Deere, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and distributes agriculture and turf and construction and forestry equipment worldwide. It has a $24.2 billion market cap and a P/E of 9.81.
Kraft Heinz (KHC) - Get Free Report has already made Berkshire Hathaway billions, and with its dividend, it will keep on paying. The food and beverage company was formed by a multi-billion-dollar merger orchestrated by Berkshire and private equity firm 3G. Kraft Heinz pays a 60-cent dividend (recently increased from 57.5 cents per share) for a 2.7% dividend yield.
Buffett left his Kraft Heinz stake untouched last quarter and holds 325.6 million shares, making the company his top public equity position and giving it a 22.2% allocation in his portfolio.
Kraft Heinz is a consumer packaged food and beverage company. It manufactures and markets food and beverage products, including cheese, meats, refreshment beverages, packaged dinners, snack nuts and other grocery products. It has a $109.1 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 32.93.
"We believe the company should focus on continuing to drive home what has been a home run implementation of Kraft/Heinz (at least from a shareholder, efficiency and productivity standpoint)," said Jim Cramer, who owns Kraft Heinz in his Action Alerts PLUS portfolio. "We would not be buyers here and would consider selling the position if shares traded nicely above our $90 price target."
Walmart (WMT) - Get Free Report pays a 50-cent quarterly dividend, giving it a yield of 2.7%. The retail giant has increased its annual cash dividend every year since first declaring an annual dividend of 5 cents per share in March 1974. It last increased its payout in early 2015.
Walmart is Buffett's No. 9 holding. He cut his stake in the company by about 27% last quarter. As of June 30, Berkshire owns 40.2 million shares, and Walmart has a 2.3% allocation in his holdings.
An operator of retail stores in various formats worldwide, Walmart is composed of three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club. It has a $230.3 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 16.31.
As of June 30, Buffett owns 85.1 million shares of U.S. Bancorp. It has a 2.6% allocation in his holdings.
U.S. Bancorp is a multi-state financial holding company. The company provides financial services through its subsidiaries, including lending and depository services, cash management, foreign exchange and trust and investment management services. It has a $73.1 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 13.52.
Buffett surprised many when his first-quarter regulatory filing revealed a billion-dollar stake in the tech giant, and in the second quarter, he doubled down on the stock, upping his stake by about 55%. As of June 30, he owns 15.2 million shares, giving Apple a 1.1% allocation in Berkshire's public equity portfolio.
Apple designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication media devices, personal computers and portable digital music players, and sells a variety of related software, services, accessories, networking solutions and third-party digital content. It has a $582.9 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 12.59.
Cramer owns Apple in his Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio. "Apple remains one of, if not the most, recognizable brands in the world, and we believe it has additional growth levers (geographical -- China and India -- and business -- Services, iPhone catalysts, etc. -- driven) it can pull to continue to drive share gains over the long term," he said of the company recently.