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1 Warren Buffett Stock Perfect for Dividend Investors

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® and Jason Hall – Sep 11, 2021 at 6:26AM

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This isn't Berkshire's most exciting investment, but could be a great fit for income seekers.

In a recent episode of The Rank, longtime contributors Matt Frankel, CFP, and Jason Hall ranked the 10 largest stock investments of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A 0.66%) (BRK.B 0.59%). And while the pair ranked telecom giant Verizon (VZ 0.26%) toward the bottom of the pack, both acknowledge that it could still be a great choice for the right kind of investor, as you'll see in this Fool Live clip recorded on Aug. 30.

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Jason Hall: Verizon is largely its wireless business. It does have some other broadband business as well. Fiber business, it's interesting because it's in a transition. It was working to become more of a telecommunications company with entertainment properties, spent a ton of money to buy internet assets. Hasn't exactly necessarily delivered great returns over the years. But over the past year or so, we've seen it start to refocus on that core telecom business, divesting some assets and get a little bit leaner and focus on really the business that's probably the most important to it and also I think the one that's most important to its shareholders and that that's steady recurring revenue cash-flow business. Right, Matt?

Matt Frankel: Yeah, for sure. This was my No. 10, and that comes from someone who I think third-largest stock position is AT&T (T 1.01%). But the reason I ranked this No. 10 is I think out of this list is where I see the most limited upside potential.

Hall: Absolutely.

Frankel: It's essentially a utility at this point. Everyone makes a big deal about Verizon as a big winner of the 5G rollout.

Hall: 5G is a big expense for this company.

Frankel: Right, and to some extent, it might be. I think they charge more for 5G data plans or something to that effect. They could be a winner, but where 5G is really going to make companies' profits expand is companies like American Tower (AMT 1.55%) that own the infrastructure and things like that. I think it's going to be like you said, more of a capital expense than a benefit for companies like Verizon. I see Verizon steadily returning 6%-7% a year total returns over the long term, and if that's what you want, Verizon is your company, but I think pretty much all of the stocks from this list have more potential than Verizon.

Hall: Yeah. I want to just emphasize that point again about getting that return, and thinking again about the 5G versus an opportunity whether it's an expense. If you're Verizon, you have to make this shift to 5G, and then five years from now, you're going to have to be making the shift to 6G and you're going to have to be deploying billions of dollars of assets simply to remain relevant, that's the bottom line. But with that said, Matt, I do want to acknowledge that there is some opportunity because one of the things that 5G is going to open up is because of the increased bandwidth is more machine-to-machine use, even more so thinking about, for example, a remote facility that needs high-speed stuff like managing mining equipment, or an HVAC equipment that needs to be connected to the internet that's in a remote facility. There are lots of applications for 5G beyond just people with their smartphones that want fast streaming for games they are playing on their phones, and there is some upside there to generate more cash flows. But it's not so big to your point that I would buy Verizon for the 5G versus Crown Castle (CCI 1.16%) or American Tower or one of those other companies where that's the opportunity because their customers are the ones spending the money for 5G, right?

Frankel: Yeah. To be fair, if I were closer to retirement age, I would probably like Verizon better. It's probably the best dividend stock on this list.

Hall: It's a 4.5% yield at this point, and if you're more focused on generating that steady, reliable income and that 6% total return if the majority of it is coming from a quarterly paycheck, it's a lot more attractive if that's what you need, right?

Frankel: Yeah, especially in the current low-interest environment. What looks more attractive, Verizon or a 30-year Treasury right now? 

Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of AT&T and Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends American Tower, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and Crown Castle International. The Motley Fool recommends Verizon Communications and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Verizon Communications Stock Quote
Verizon Communications
$38.34 (0.26%) $0.10
Berkshire Hathaway (A shares) Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway (A shares)
$475,843.00 (0.66%) $3,130.99
Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) Stock Quote
Berkshire Hathaway (B shares)
$315.13 (0.59%) $1.86
AT&T Stock Quote
$19.01 (1.01%) $0.19
Crown Castle  Stock Quote
Crown Castle
$139.11 (1.16%) $1.59
American Tower Stock Quote
American Tower
$217.22 (1.55%) $3.32

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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