5 Dividend Picks From Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller

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Stanley Druckenmiller founded Duquesne Capital in 1981, but closed his fund in 2010. He continues to manage money and reports his holdings to the SEC quarterly via 13F filings. The most recent third quarter 13F for Druckenmiller showed a couple additions and a number of key increases. We have identified Druckenmiller's top five dividend paying stocks and will discuss them in more detail below. Here's his full portfolio.

Three new dividend increases for Druckenmiller’s portfolio were in the pharma space. The manager’s stake in each pharma company was increased by at least 40% during 3Q. Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK), after a 43% share increase from 2Q, is now Druckenmiller's fifth largest 13F holding. Merck is expected to see year-end sales decline due to the patent expiration on its respiratory drug Singulair, and pays a dividend yield of nearly 3.8%.

Although the company has a pipeline of other drugs, we see little value when comparing it to top competitor Pfizer (NYSE: PFE). Merck and Pfizer trade in lockstep on a valuation basis and in terms of dividend yield, but Merck has a debt to equity ratio of 1.5, triple that of Pfizer. With Merck only expected to grow five-year earnings at 5% annually, we believe investors can find better values in pharma. Merck is also a Kahn Brothers' Top Pick for 3Q.

Pfizer is in the process of selling its nutrition business to Nestle, which should help boost cash to buy back shares and continue to pay its 3.6% dividend yield. The other cash-generating event will be the IPO of 20% of its animal health business.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY), a 48% increase in 2Q shares owned by Druckenmiller, pays the highest dividend of our three pharma stocks at 4.1%. Eli Lilly is currently trying to execute a fairly new strategy to combat the loss of patent protection on various drugs. Helping counter this loss will be Eli’s entry into Japan and other emerging markets. Eli also has 13 of its 66 drugs in pipeline that are currently under regulatory review and in Phase III trials. The company’s shares also have the lowest valuation of the three pharma stocks mentioned here at 13x earnings, making for quite a value play.

Furthermore, two of Druckenmiller's remaining top five picks were new additions from the oil and gas industry that also pay top-notch dividends. ExxonMobil Corp (NYSE: XOM) was Druckenmiller's number one stock that made up 6.7% of his firm's 3Q 13F. Chevron Corp (NYSE: CVX), also a new pick for Druckenmiller in 3Q, takes the fourth spot in his 13F.

Exxon and Chevron - two giants in the oil and gas industry - trade in line at 9x earnings and both pay solid dividends. The dividend yield on Exxon shares is 2.6%, while Chevron's yield is 3.4%. As global GDP is expected to grow 2.3% in 2012 and 2.6% in 2013, it should boost demand for both oil and gas.

Exxon plans to target production growth of 1%-2% a year through 2016 with strong downstream operations - namely U.S. refining - and upstream growth opportunities, including increasing its focus on deepwater. Production for Chevron is expected to be 4%-5% from 2014 to 2017 on the back of downstream operations restructuring. Chevron expects to continue acquisitions with a focus on exploring and producing properties. Around 90% of 2012 CapEx is expected to be spent on E&P operations, spread geographically across Asia, the Americas and Africa.

Druckenmiller's two big oil and gas bets should yield positive results in the long term given their industry-leading positions and strong global growth outlook. Additionally, we prefer Pfizer and Eli Lilly to Merck. The pharma companies mentioned are more advantageous to income investors, compared to the oil and gas companies; each offers a yield of at least 3.6%. Exxon pays the lowest dividend yield of the five stocks, while Chevron pays 3.4%.  Check out all of billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller's 3Q stocks picks.


This article is written by Marshall Hargrave and edited by Jake Mann. They don't own shares in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of ExxonMobil. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Chevron. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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