Current Dividend Yield: 3.4%
Performance So Far in 2012: +4.4% (vs. +13% for the S&P 500)
Plenty of investors have a lot to gripe about when it comes to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). After all, shares essentially have been rangebound for the past two years, including returns of just less than 1% despite over 14% returns for the S&P 500.
The company has missed the boat on the mobile side. While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains the premium player in smartphones and Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) continues to make headway with its Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones, Windows phones remain at best an afterthought, or at worst a laughingstock. The same goes for tablets. iPad, Kindle, Nook and other names rule the day, while the Surface recently debuted to mixed reviews.
So what’s to love about Microsoft?
For one, its enterprise software still maintains a stranglehold in businesses across the world. In fact, access to legacy products like Office is one of the biggest draws to its Surface tablet. So even if we’re destined never to see hordes of teens carrying around slick new Windows phones, it’s a good bet that Microsoft won’t just suddenly collapse.
And even if MSFT shares can only muster up flat performance in the years ahead, you can take solace in a steady 3.4% stream funded by a king’s ransom in cash.