Warren Buffett's Favorite 16 Dividend Stocks for 2014

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Warren Buffett is considered the most respected and successful investor. Often called "The Oracle of Omaha" for his impressive investing prowess, he is among the world's wealthiest people.

Buffett studied under the legendary Benjamin Graham at Columbia University who had a major impact on Buffett's life and investment strategies.

Buffett is chairman of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) which he built from a textile company into a major corporation with a market cap over $200 billion. Under Buffett's leadership, Berkshire shares averaged a 21.4% compounded annual gain in per share book value from 1965-2006.

He follows a value investing strategy that is an adaptation of Graham's approach: Discipline, patience and value consistently outperforms the market. His moves are followed by investors worldwide. Buffett seeks to acquire great companies trading at a discount to their intrinsic value, and to hold onto them for a long time. He will only invest in businesses that he understands, and always insists on a margin of safety.

Regarding the types of businesses Berkshire likes to purchase, Buffett has said,"We want businesses to be one that we can understand, with favorable long-term prospects, operated by honest and competent people, and available at a very attractive price."

What follows are Buffett's top 16 stocks with the highest dividend yield as of March 31, 2014.

1. Verizon Communications  (VZ)

Shares Held by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway:  11,023,000
Holdings Value:  $524 million
Portfolio Weighting as of 3/31/2014:  0.50%
Yield: 4.39%

Verizon Communications Inc. is a provider of communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses and governmental agencies. Its two segments are Wireless and Wireline.

TheStreet Ratings team rates VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC (VZ) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, compelling growth in net income and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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

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