George Soros: Microsoft (MSFT)
And finally, we get to the granddaddy of all macro traders, the legendary George Soros himself.
Soros is best known as the man who bankrupted the Bank of England (and pocketed a cool billion for himself in a single day) by shorting the pound in 1992.
Soros’ funds are no longer open to outside investors, and that is a shame. During the Quantum Fund’s heyday between 1969 and 2000, Soros generated 32% average annual returns.
So what are Mr. Soros and his associates buying these days?
One recent addition that caught my eye was Microsoft (MSFT). Microsoft has really stepped up its game in recent years as a premier dividend payer. It currently yields 3%, which is among the highest on the market for a tech stock.
Microsoft grew its dividend 20% in 2013 … after growing it 25% in 2012 and 23% in 2011. The dividend has more than doubled since 2008, and there is plenty of room for more. MSFT’s dividend payout ratio is only 34%.
The company has taken heat for botching the Windows 8 rollout with a user interface that alienates its core clientele — desktop and laptop PC users. More broadly, investors hate the fact that Microsoft “missed” mobile and is stuck in a long uphill fight playing catchup.
All of this is true. Yet MSFT still has managed to grow its earnings at a healthy clip through robust sales of its Office suite, its server business and its other services for enterprise clients. If the company ever catches up in mobile — and it appears to be making headway — consider it icing on the cake.
Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA, is the chief investment officer of the investment firm Sizemore Capital Management. As of this writing, he was long DVA, MO and MSFT. Click here to receive his FREE 8-part investing series that will not only show you which sectors will soar, but also which stocks will deliver the highest returns. This series includes a FREE copy of his 2014 Macro Trend Profit Report.