Berkshire Shares: 1.74 million
Returns: -10% 1-year return vs. a flat Dow,
-79% 5-year return vs. -11% for Dow
Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have been making headlines lately for big buys in the newspaper industry. But media giant Gannett (NYSE:GCI) has been a member of the portfolio for quite some time. What might surprise you most, however, isn’t the long-time Buffett investment in this stock, but the fact that Gannett just pushed its dividend up 500% in roughly a year! GCI stock was paying a mere 4 cents per quarter in July 2011, then upped its dividend to 8 cents in October and finally to 20 cents a quarter starting this spring. That’s good for a phenomenal 6.5% dividend yield at current valuations. Also worth noting: Gannett dividends have been in force since 1929, so this is a company with a long history of paying back shareholders.
Just be warned: The shares themselves have fallen off a cliff as newspapers have struggled to adapt to the digital age. A horrible five-year return of about -80% is hardly something low-risk income investors should be drawn to.