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5 Ultra-High Dividend Stocks Hedge Funds Are Betting On

#3 BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP)

 – Elite Investors with Long Positions (as of September 30): 35

 – Aggregate Value of Elite Investors’ Holdings (as of September 30): $968 million

BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) lands in third, although the investors tracked by Insider Monkey own just 1% of its shares as of September 30. BP currently pays a $0.60 quarterly dividend on those shares, representing a yield of 7.36%. Shares of BP have rebounded from their awful third quarter with a solid fourth quarter, although they dipped by 6% this week, including a nearly 2% fall on Friday after OPEC announced there would be no oil production cut, which sent U.S crude down by 2.7% and Brent down by 1.8%. We recently suggested that BP’s dividend is likely safe in the short-term, but that it could be at risk in the longer-term if oil prices remain depressed, although BP could sell non-core assets to cover the payments. Pzena Investment Management and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust made cuts to their BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) holdings in the third quarter but remained the top shareholders of the stock in our database, owning 9.74 million shares and 6.13 million shares respectively.

#2 Colony Capital Inc (NYSE:CLNY)

 – Elite Investors with Long Positions (as of September 30): 36

 – Aggregate Value of Elite Investors’ Holdings (as of September 30): $594 million

In contrast to BP, 27% of Colony Capital Inc (NYSE:CLNY)’s shares were owned by the investors in our database on September 30. However, there was a 23% flight of capital from the stock during the third quarter, even though ownership remained steady at 36 funds. Shares dropped by about 14% during that time, accounting for a portion of the decline. Colony Capital Inc (NYSE:CLNY) recently announced a hike in its quarterly dividend payment to $0.40, an annual yield of 7.97%. The ex-dividend date for that first $0.40 payment is on December 29. As Colony Capital (formerly Colony Financial) has yet to cut its dividend in five years as a public, dividend-paying company and its earnings continue to be solid, there’s no reason to suspect the dividend is in any danger of a cut any time soon. With a price-to-book ratio of 0.8 and a forward P/E of just 9.70, the stock also looks attractively-priced. It’s down by 16% this year after a strong three-year run where it gained over 50% while also paying out those nice dividends. Emanuel Friedman‘s EJF Capital, which primarily invests in real estate and financial stocks, has both Colony Capital and New Residential Investment Corp among its top five picks.

#1 Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI)

 – Elite Investors with Long Positions (as of September 30): 72

 – Aggregate Value of Elite Investors’ Holdings (as of September 30): $1.83 billion

Lastly is Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI), which is by far the most popular stock on this list. It also increased in popularity during the third quarter, being included in the portfolios of 72 investors that we track, up from 64 at the end of June. As with BP however, those investors were underweight KMI, owning just 3% of its shares. Kinder Morgan has had an even rougher week than BP, as in addition to the oil price decline, it’s been dealing with some additional headwinds of its own, including Moody’s downgrading its credit rating. Shares have contracted by nearly 30% this week alone, which has had the effect of pushing Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI)’s dividend yield to an eye-opening 12.13%. However, that robust dividend could be in danger, as KMI released a statement on Friday disclosing that its dividend policy will be reviewed in the coming days, although it also stated that it should have the ability to make its dividend payments in 2016. However, it may cut the dividend anyway, in an effort to repair its damaged credit rating. The quant funds D E Shaw and Renaissance Technologies were both high on Kinder Morgan in the third quarter, making big additions to their KMI holdings, lifting them to 2.89 million shares and 2.26 million shares respectively.

Disclosure: None

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