buffett's best stocks of 2016 so far

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Warren Buffetts Best-Performing Stocks of 2016 (So Far)

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As of this writing, Berkshire Hathaways portfolio consists of 45 stocks.Excluding relatively small ($100 million or less) stock holdings, here are Berkshires top performers of 2016 so far, in ascending order. Note: These are total returns, which include any dividends paid during the first quarter.2Buffetts Stock Portfolio

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10. Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX): 7.7% total return in 2016Berkshire has been aggressively loading up on Phillips 66 in recent quarters. The diversity of the companys operations give it an advantage over peers in fact, some of the companys businesses actually do better when oil prices are low.3

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9. Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA) : 8.9% total returnThis is a relatively new Buffett stock, purchased in 2015.Axalta is one of several recent Buffett investments in the still-recovering U.S. auto industry, which stands to benefit greatly from wage growth and increasing consumer confidence.4

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8. Kraft Heinz (NYSE: KFT): 9.1% total returnHeinz was a Berkshire subsidiary, so this investment resulted from the merger between Heinz and Kraft Foods. Buffett has said he likes Kraft Heinz because their brands will be around for decades to come.5

7. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO): 9.3% total returnA longtime Berkshire favorite, Warren Buffett loves Coca-Colas strong brand name, world-class distribution network, and shareholder-friendly management.6

6. International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM): 9.6% total returnIBM is currently transitioning its emphasis to cloud computing and other up-and-coming areas.Buffett loves IBMs management and likely feels that the companys new endeavors will be successful.7

5. Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR): 10.9% total returnBerkshire added significantly to its stake in Charter during 2015. Charter is currently in a merger agreement with Time Warner Cable, which could unlock value if approved.8

4. Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT): 11.8% total returnWal-Mart is a classic defensive stock -- its business model works in good times and bad.This could explain its outperformance in the current shaky market. In fact, Wal-Marts revenue actually increased every year throughout the tough 2008-2010 period.9

3. AT&T (NYSE: T): 16.3% total returnThe highest-paying Buffett dividend stock (4.9% yield), Berkshire acquired AT&T shares indirectly when the company merged with DIRECTV.Recently, Buffett has actually sold some of his AT&T stake.10

2. Verizon (NYSE: VZ):18.8% total returnVerizon isnt exactly a high-growth company, but Buffetts 2014 purchase of the stock is likely a classic Buffett pick a great company at a fair price.In addition, Verizon is a high-paying dividend stock (4.2% yield) with a great track record of dividend growth.11

1. Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI): 19.4% total returnKinder Morgan is the newest Buffett stock and benefited greatly in early 2016 from the rebound in commodity prices.Kinder Morgan has an enormous scale, strong cash flow, and attractive valuation.Buffett has a history of buying best-in-breed companies when their sectors get weak, as he did during the financial crisis.12

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