Berkshire Shares: 1.51 million shares
Returns: +2% 1-year return vs. a flat Dow,
-15% 5-year return vs. -11% for Dow
Big Pharma means big yield for many investors, and Warren Buffett has staked out a position in this income-rich sector, too. Berkshire Hathaway has 1.51 million shares of the U.K. drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK). Dividends at GSK aren’t as consistent as with domestic pharmaceuticals, but the last four quarterly distributions range between 52 cents and 82 cents a share. Add up the last four consecutive payments, and you get $2.43 cents annually for a hefty 5.6% yield. If you want to be conservative, however, four quarters at the lowest payment of 52 cents gets you to $2.08 annually — which isn’t as rosy, but still an impressive 4.8% yield.
Like many pharma stocks, GSK has been pulled between the relative stability of the health care sector and the looming threat of patent expirations weighing on the bottom line. The result is a performance that has more or less tracked the market.