5 Big Dividend Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves

"No one strategy is correct all the time," John Paulson once said. But a dividend-focused approach drawing from his portfolio may not be a bad way to invest -- or at least to go looking for ideas.

Paulson, who founded hedge fund Paulson & Co. in 1994, has made a name for himself in mergers and acquisitions and event-driven investing. "Our goals are capital preservation, above average returns over the long-term, and low correlation to the markets," the firm's Web site reads. "All of our strategies are focused on compounding gains over the long-term."

Paulson's tactics have paid off handsomely, resulting in millions and millions of dollars for clients. They have also boded well for Paulson himself -- so well, in fact, that he had no problem giving up $400 million of his personal fortune in a donation to Harvard University in 2015, the institution's largest gift ever.

The billionaire's donation will keep on giving -- just like, one would hope, the dividend stocks in his portfolio.

What follows are six of the top dividend-paying stocks Paulson has been investing in lately. Each comprises more than 1% of his public equity portfolio as per his latest 13F filing, corresponding to June 30, 2016, and has a dividend yield of 1.5% or higher.

Extended Stay America

Extended Stay America (STAY) is Paulson's top dividend stock. The company pays a 19-cent-per-share quarterly dividend, giving it a yield of 5.3%. As of the end of the first quarter, Paulson owns 42.7 million shares of the company valued at $637.8 million. Extended Stay America has a 6.6% allocation in his public equity portfolio and is his No. 5 top holding.

Extended Stay America develops, owns and operates hotels in the U.S. and Canada. It has a $2.9 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 34.76.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) makes a 34-cent quarterly distribution and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. It is Paulson's No. 4 holding. He decreased his stake last quarter but still holds 16.8 million shares valued at $842.5 million. The company has an 8.8% allocation in his holdings.

Teva develops, manufactures, markets and distributes generic, specialty and other pharmaceutical products worldwide. The company operates in two segments: generic medicines and specialty medicines. It has a $46.8 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 28.14.

AIG

AIG (AIG) increased its dividend this year to 32 cents per share from 28 cents per share. It has a yield of 2.1%. Billionaire Paulson shaved his stake in the company during the second quarter but as of the end of the period still holds 9.1 million shares valued at $479.2 million. AIG has a 5% allocation in his holdings.

The stock has been a bit of an activist play for Paulson, who has echoed fellow billionaire Carl Icahn's calls for the insurance giant to break up in recent months. The pair secured seats on the company's board of directors in February.

AIG provides insurance products and services for commercial, institutional and individual customers in the U.S., the Asia Pacific and internationally. It has a $64.1 billion market cap.

Grifols

Grifols (GRFS) has a semi-annual dividend of about 16.2 cents per share and a 2% yield. Paulson cut his holdings in the company by about 50% during the second quarter to 7.3 million shares worth $122.4 million as of June 30. The company comprises 1.3% of his holdings.

Grifols, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, develops, manufactures and distributes plasma derivative products in the U.S., Canada, Spain, the European Union and internationally. It has an $11 billion market cap and trades at a P/E of 31.45.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) pays a dividend of 37.5 cents per share and has a yield of 1.9%. Paulson cut his position in the company by about 20% last quarter and as of June 30 has 4.5 million shares valued at $332.5 million, giving the company a 3.5% allocation in his holdings.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a hotel and leisure company worldwide. It has a market cap of $13.1 billion and trades at a P/E of 30.15.

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