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George Soros is an 80-year-old Hungarian-American hedge fund manager who became known as "the Man Who Broke the Bank of England" after he made $1 billion in 1992. Soros graduated from the London School of Economics in 1952. After graduation, he started his career in the London merchant bank of Singer & Friedlander. In 1956 he moved to New York City and his career took off. He earned large profits from investments and currency speculation. According to Forbes, he is ranked 35th on the list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $14.2 billion.

Soros returned an average of 30.5% per year between 1969 and 2000. In 2007, Soros came back from retirement after the quant liquidity crunch and managed to generate a 32% return for the year. Soros even managed to return 8% in 2008, the worst year for most hedge funds. Soros also returned 29% in 2009, earning $3.3 billion in fees and investment gains.

We compiled Soros' high-dividend stock picks that were at least $3 million at the end of March. We required a minimum dividend yield of 4% and yields were obtained from Fidelity. Here are Soros' favorite high dividend stock picks:

CompanyName

Ticker

Value

Activity

Dividend Yield

BRISTOL MYERS SQUIBB CO

BMY

5286

New

4.81

PENN WEST PETROLEUM LTD

PWE

14186

New

4.84

DONNELLEY R R & SONS CO

RRD

2036

230%

5.41

VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC

VZ

64954

62%

5.53

A T & T INC

T

48917

43%

5.65

PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELE CO

PHI

2461

New

6.76

CENTURYLINK INC

CTL

13057

10%

7.34

VODAFONE GROUP PLC NEW

VOD

5126

-3%

7.57

NOKIA CORP

NOK

3267

New

8.99

Soros’ favorite high dividend stocks were VZ and T, which pay north of 5% in dividends and are at the heart of the mobile revolution. Twenty-eight of the 300+ hedge funds we track had Verizon in their portfolios at the end of March. Phill Gross’ Adage Capital had nearly $150 Million in VZ and $400 Million in T. Twenty-three other hedge funds had T in their portfolios at the end of March. Billionaire Jim Simons is also bullish about T (see Simons’ top positions here).

NOK has the highest dividend yield in Soros’ portfolio. NOK distributed $0.545 per share in May, which corresponds to a 9% dividend yield. Unfortunately, NOK doesn’t have a consistent dividend record. Three years ago it distributed $0.78 per share and then cut dividend payments to $0.518 in 2009. Simons is also very bullish about NOK. Simons has the largest position in NOK among the 300+ hedge funds we follow.

VOD also has a very high yield. Hedge fund star David Einhorn has been holding VOD since late 2009. Vodafone owns 45% of Verizon Wireless, which doesn’t contribute to VOD’s bottom line yet. Einhorn believes the market ignores Vodafone’s stake in Verizon Wireless and once it starts distributing profits, Vodafone will take off. Until then, Einhorn is happy to receive dividends.

We believe Soros' favorite dividend picks will beat the 10-year treasuries over the long term (see Soros' largest stock picks here). We also think that these stocks have the potential to deliver large capital gains as well. Soros probably didn't buy them just for their high yields.

Source: George Soros's Favorite High-Dividend Stock Picks