Warren Buffett appreciates the value of high-yield stocks. We know that because several of Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) holdings pay handsome dividends and offer outstanding value, including IBM (NYSE:IBM), recently added real estate investment trust (REIT) Store Capital (NYSE:STOR), and beverage giant Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO).
Our Foolish investors take a closer look at these three stocks, to see what made them attractive to the Oracle of Omaha.
A reward for patience
Tim Brugger (IBM): Despite Berkshire's sell-off of a large chunk of its stake earlier this year, IBM remains one of Buffett's largest holdings, and with its outstanding 4.2% dividend yield, it's one of his highest-yielding stocks.
As investors saw again last quarter, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's transformation of her company to a cloud-first provider by way of its strategic imperatives initiative is still a work in progress. The result of IBM's ongoing transition was another drop in total sales last quarter to $19.3 billion, a 5% year-over-year decline.
That may explain why Buffett sold off some of his stake. But why does he still hold billions of dollars of IBM stock? Aside from the dividend, IBM is a leader in the fast-growing cloud market. In fact, at an annual run rate of $15.1 billion, IBM is one of the largest cloud providers on the planet. Last quarter's $3.9 billion in cloud sales was an impressive 15% year-over-year jump, and its trailing-12-month total of $8.8 billion in cloud-as-a-service revenue was a 30% improvement.
Another of IBM's objectives is to become a more efficiently run organization, and IBM took another step in the right direction toward that end last quarter. The company shaved $300 million off its total costs in the second quarter compared to the year-ago period, contributing to an 11% drop in total expenses during the first half of this year to $12.7 billion.
Yes, IBM has fallen out of favor, but in addition to its industry-leading dividend yield, it's also one of the best values around. Priced at a meager 10 times future earnings, IBM is hard to beat for investors in search of high yields.
A promising new Buffett stock you must know about
Neha Chamaria (Store Capital Corp.): Store Capital, a new addition to Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio, looks like a compelling buy today for two reasons: a sustainable business model and a dividend yield of 4.5%.
First, a bit about what Store Capital does. It's a net-lease REIT that acquires and manages single-tenant properties. Store is a young company, founded in 2011, but its portfolio has already expanded to 1,770 properties across retail, manufacturing, and service sectors in the United States. You may have already guessed why Store's dividend is appealing: As a REIT, the company must pay out 90% or more of its taxable income in dividends.
What's more, Store pretty much makes for a dividend growth stock, given how its profits and dividends are rising. Consider that the company grew its funds from operations and dividends at annual average rates of 10.1% and 8.6%, respectively, between 2013 and 2016. Much of this growth can be credited to Store's business model, or, specifically, the rent escalator clause in its lease agreements -- thanks to which the rent at which the company leases properties keeps rising at regular intervals. This benefit, of course, flows down to the company's bottom line.
Store's diversified portfolio, the long-term lease agreements, and the rent escalation clause should protect its profits and dividend payouts. Meanwhile, the company's expansion plans should drive its growth, reaping richer dividends for investors along the way.
The safest Buffett stock?
Rich Duprey (Coca-Cola): Coca-Cola may not be the original Warren Buffett investment, but it's identified with Buffett as few other stocks are. Maybe it deserves a place in your portfolio, too.
The beverage giant today is much more than the soda king it was when Buffett first started acquiring shares in it. It has divested itself of almost all its bottling operations, and it's moving its beverage lineup away from the sugary drinks upon which it made its mark and toward those in line with consumer tastes today, such as energy drinks, tea juices, and flavored waters. It already has a 15% stake in Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) and is speculated to be considering buying out the rest.
And when it comes to dividends, few companies can compare with Coca-Cola, which has raised its payout to investors for 55 consecutive years. The dividend currently yields 3.2%. While there are a few companies in Buffett's portfolio that have higher yields than that, Coca-Cola surpasses the vast majority of them and has the added benefit of being a supremely stable and consistent stock.
It's a unique performance among companies that qualify as Dividend Aristocrats. With a commitment to continue growing its payout to investors, Coca-Cola brings with it safety, security, performance, and income. There's a good reason the drink giant is in Buffett's portfolio.
Neha Chamaria has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Tim Brugger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) and Monster Beverage. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.