Billionaire Ken Fisher’s Dividend Picks Include Philip Morris

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Fisher Asset Management, a fund managed by billionaire (and author and Forbes columnist) Ken Fisher, filed its 13F for the fourth quarter of last year in January. These filings from major investors disclose many of their long equity positions as of the end of the quarter. It turns out that the most popular small cap stocks among hedge funds generate an average excess return of 18 percentage points per year (learn more about our findings on small cap stocks) and we think that other strategies are possible as well. In the case of notable investors such as Fisher we can also see what his “stock picks” in a number of categories were so that the broader investment community can research any interesting names. Here are Fisher’s five largest holdings by market value which pay a dividend yield of 3.5% or higher judging by current prices and recent dividend payments:

The largest single-stock holding in the fund’s portfolio was about 32 million shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE). Pfizer was the most popular healthcare stock among hedge funds in the fourth quarter of 2012 (see the ten most popular healthcare stocks) and pays a dividend yield of 3.6%. At a market capitalization of $200 billion and a beta of 0.7, Pfizer has a small amount of security from changes in the broader economy. The stock also carries trailing and forward P/E multiples of 14 and 12, respectively. Fisher has named it as his top stock pick for 2013 and it’s possible that it is a good value as well as a reliable income stock.

Ken Fisher - FISHER ASSET MANAGEMENTSanofi SA (NYSE:SNY), another megacap drug manufacturer, was another of Fisher’s top stock picks as the 13F disclosed a position of over 13 million shares. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was another owner of Sanofi, reporting ownership of 4.1 million shares at the end of December (find Buffett’s favorite stocks). Sanofi offers a yield of 3.7%, though more defensive minded investors may prefer Pfizer or other healthcare stocks given that the beta is 1; this statistic indicates that its stock price tends to move more or less in line with market indices, something that is uncommon among megacap drug manufacturers.

See three more dividend stocks from Fisher’s portfolio:

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