Cold, hard cash is real, and can be used by shareholder-friendly management teams to:

  • Pay inflation-fighting dividends.
  • Repurchase shares.
  • Grow the business organically.

Investing legend and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is famous for his love of cash flow-producing businesses.

Let’s take a look at three stocks in Berkshire’s portfolio that boast double-digit free cash flow margins (free cash flow as a percentage of sales).

Chevron (CVX)

Leading off our list is oil and gas giant Chevron, which has generated $13.9 billion in free cash flow over the past 12 months and consistently posts free cash flow margins in the ballpark of 10%.

The shares have been hot in recent months on the strong rebound in energy prices, but with inflation continuing to heat up, there might be plenty of room left to run.

Management’s recent initiatives to cut costs and improve efficiency are starting to take hold and should be able to fuel shareholder-friendly actions for the foreseeable future.

In December, Chevron announced that it would boost its buyback program to as much as $5 billion a year, about 60% higher than previous guidance.

The stock still offers an attractive dividend yield of 4.3%, which investors can pounce on using some extra cash.

An app called Acorns automatically rounds up purchases made on your credit or debit card to the nearest dollar and places the excess "change" into a smart investment portfolio. You get $10 immediately from your first investment.

Get $10

Moody’s (MCO)

With whopping free cash flow margins above 30%, credit ratings leader Moody’s is next up on our list.

Moody’s shares held up incredibly well during the height of the pandemic and are up over 200% over the past five years, suggesting that it’s a recession-proof business worth betting on.

Specifically, the company’s well-entrenched leadership position in credit ratings, which leads to outsized cash flow and returns on capital, should continue to limit Moody’s long-term downside

Moody’s has generated about $2.4 billion in trailing twelve-month free cash flow. And over the first nine months of 2021, the company has returned $975 million to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

Moody’s has a dividend yield of 0.7%.

Coca-Cola (KO)

Rounding out our list is beverage giant Coca-Cola, which has produced $8.1 billion in trailing twelve-month free cash flow and habitually delivers free cash flow margins above 20%.

The stock has had plenty of ups and downs in recent months, but patient investors should look to take advantage of the short-term uncertainty. Coca-Cola’s long-term investment case continues to be backed by an unrivaled brand presence, massive scale efficiencies, and still-attractive geographic growth tailwinds.

And the company is back to operating at pre-pandemic levels.

In the most recent quarter, Coca-Cola posted revenue of $10 billion, up 16% from the year-ago period, driven largely by a 6% increase in unit case volume.

Coca-Cola shares offer a dividend yield of 2.8%.

Most people don't realize that with the right moves, you can become a millionaire — it's not a question of "if," it's a question of "when."

Read More

Generate income outside of the shaky stock market

Even if you don't like these specific stock picks, you should still look to implement Buffett's time-tested strategy of investing in real assets that produce cold, hard cash.

And you don't have to limit yourself to the stock market.

For instance, some popular investing services make it possible to lock in a passive income stream by investing in a wide variety of alternative assets — including fine art, commercial real estate, and even luxury vehicle finance.

Never overpay on Amazon again

Make sure to price-check online purchases with the help of Capital One Shopping. It’s totally free to use and takes less than a minute to set up.

Last year the service saved its customers over $160 million, and with just a few clicks you can start saving, too.

Download Capital One Shopping today and stop paying more than you have to for the exact same stuff.

About the Author

Brian Pacampara, CFA

Brian Pacampara, CFA

Investing Editor

Brian is an editor for MoneyWise. A long-time stock junkie, his work has appeared in The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and Yahoo Finance. He believes in owning "Forever Stocks" — a rare group of businesses that have paid out dividends for decades. Brian holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Disclaimer

The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.