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Companies Likely To Pay Special Dividends

Goldman Sachs has identified 15 companies as likely candidates to declare special dividends before tax hikes go into effect at the start of 2013.

The list includes MasterCard Inc. (MA), Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN), and Stryker Corp. (SYK).

“A well capitalized corporate America, flush with cash, and a potential shift, regardless of party, in the tax rate higher in 2013 augur a wave of special dividend announcements, in our view,” said analysts at Goldman Sachs in a report.

Goldman noted that gross cash among non-financial firms has risen 55% since the end of 2007 and total cash to enterprise value has increased to 9% from 6% during the same period.

The scheduled expiration of tax cuts at the end of the year, part of the so-called fiscal cliff, means that dividends are likely to be taxed as ordinary income in 2013 at a rate of up to 43.4% versus 15% currently, according to the analysts.

“The 2001/2003 tax cuts were originally set to expire at the end of 2010, though, after months of political negotiations, the rates were extended in the final weeks of that year.  Indeed 2010, saw the highest number of one-time dividend announcements, more than double the run-rate of 2000-2011 period,” they said.

In the last 12 years, 75% of companies that declared a special dividend outperformed the S&P 500 in the two days following. “The average outperformance over the two days and the 3 months following the announcement was 330 basis points and 380 basis points, respectively,” said the analysts.

They also noted that historically, announcements for special dividends tend to be concentrated in the fourth quarter.

Companies flush with cash are also increasing their ordinary dividends. In the past week, 8 members of the S&P 500 have raised their dividends. In the S&P 500 as a whole, 403 companies are currently paying dividends, the highest number since November 1999, according to Howard Silverblatt, S&P senior index analyst.

The complete Goldman Sachs special dividends candidate list:

Federated Investors Inc. (FII)

Franklin Resources Inc. (BEN)

General Dynamics Corp. (GD)

Interval Leisure Group Inc. (IILG)

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS)

Mastercard Inc. (MA)

Molex Inc. (MOLX)

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (OZM)

Patterson Companies Inc. (PDCO)

Pzena Investment Management Inc. (PZN)

Stryker Corp. (SYK)

TransDigm Group Inc. (TDG)

Western Refining Inc. (WNR)

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (WSM)

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN)

 

Source: MarketWatch.

Bershire Hathaway Portfolio Update

As of 12/31/2011, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) owns 34 stocks with a total value of $66.2 billion.  The classic value investor Warren Buffett made a number of stock moves during the 4th quarter of 2011.  These are the details of the buys and sells.

Added: CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in CVS Caremark Corp. by 25.53%. His purchase prices were between $32.97 and $41.16, with an estimated average price of $37.2. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.09%. His holdings were 7,106,500 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Added: Intel Corp. (INTC)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in Intel Corp. by 23.17%. His purchase prices were between $20.62 and $25.66, with an estimated average price of $23.87. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.08%. His holdings were 11,495,000 shares as of 12/31/2011.

New Purchase: Davita Inc. (DVA)

Warren Buffett initiated holdings in Davita Inc. (DVA). His purchase prices were between $60.64 and $76.81, with an estimated average price of $71.05. The
impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.31%. His holdings were 2,684,500 shares as of 12/31/2011.

New Purchase: Liberty Media Corp. Liberty Cap (LMCA)

Warren Buffett initiated holdings in Liberty Media Corp. Liberty Cap. His purchase prices were between $61.11 and $79.67, with an estimated average price of
$46.2. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.2%. His holdings were 1,701,400 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Added: International Business Machines Corp (IBM)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in International Business Machines Corp by 11.43%. His purchase prices were between $173.29 and $194.56, with an estimated average price of $184.45. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 1.83%. His holdings were 63,905,931 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Added: The Directv Group Inc. (DTV)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in The Directv Group Inc. by 378.85%. His purchase prices were between $40.6 and $47.87, with an estimated average price of $45.35. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 1.03%. His holdings were 20,348,400 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Added: Wells Fargo & Company (WFC)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in Wells Fargo & Company by 6.18%. His purchase prices were between $23.18 and $27.785, with an estimated average
price of $25.68. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.93%. His holdings were 383,703,628 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Added: Visa Inc (V)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in Visa Inc by 25.02%. His purchase prices were between $84.26 and $103.15, with an estimated average price of $93.81. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.09%. His holdings were 2,865,008 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Added: General Dynamics Corp. (GD)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in General Dynamics Corp. by 26.52%. His purchase prices were between $55.67 and $66.92, with an estimated average price of $63.53. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.08%. His holdings were 3,877,122 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Added: Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK)

Warren Buffett added to his holdings in Verisk Analytics Inc. by 63.96%. His purchase prices were between $33.06 and $40.13, with an estimated average price of $36.75. The impact to his portfolio due to this purchase was 0.08%. His holdings were 3,445,029 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Reduced: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

Warren Buffett reduced to his holdings in Johnson & Johnson by 22.51%. His sale prices were between $61.27 and $66.02, with an estimated average price of
$63.97. The impact to his portfolio due to this sale was -0.91%. Warren Buffett still held 29,018,127 shares as of 12/31/2011.

Sold Out: Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)

Warren Buffett sold out his holdings in Exxon Mobil Corp.. His sale prices were between $71.15 and $85.28, with an estimated average price of $78.88.

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