Investors could reap gains of 15 percent to 20 percent next year by buying top-quality stocks such as MetLife, Comcast Corp and Berkshire Hathaway , Barron's said in its Dec 12 edition.

Companies with rising dividends like Procter & Gamble
are also good bets for next year, the financial newspaper said in a report on its ten favorite stocks for 2012.

Four European companies made the top ten list, reflecting high dividend yields and markets depressed by the European debt crisis, Barron's said. The paper said it likes the U.S.-listed shares of Vodafone Group, Royal Dutch Shell Daimler and Sanofi.

U.S. companies on the top ten list also included miner Freeport-McMoRan, which is profiting from developing countries' demand for copper, and disk drive maker Seagate Technology, which should benefit from consolidation in the industry, Barron's said.

The paper said Warren Buffett's Berkshire is in its best shape ever, with a business mix that is churning out about $7,500 per share of profits each year. Buffett's age (81) is the biggest downside, but he expects to run the company at least another five years, Barron's said.

The paper acknowledged its 2011 top 10 lineup lagged the market, declining 6.9 percent on average compared with a 1.9 percent decline for the S&P 500. It attributed the subpar performance to declines in General Motors JPMorgan Chase and United Continental

The 2012 picks all have the potential for 15 percent to 20 percent total returns, it said.

(Reporting by Dena Aubin)