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“I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a five year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Campbell Soup Co (NYSE: CPB)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2014.

Start date: 05/16/2014


End date: 05/15/2019
Start price/share: $45.12
End price/share: $38.98
Starting shares: 221.63
Ending shares: 255.31
Dividends reinvested/share: $6.66
Total return: -0.48%
Average annual return: -0.10%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $9,950.10

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -0.10%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $9,950.10 today (as of 05/15/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -0.48% (something to think about: how might CPB shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Campbell Soup Co paid investors a total of $6.66/share in dividends over the 5 holding period, marking a second component of the total return beyond share price change alone. Much like watering a tree, reinvesting dividends can help an investment to grow over time — for the above calculations we assume dividend reinvestment (and for this exercise the closing price on ex-date is used for the reinvestment of a given dividend).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 1.4/share, we calculate that CPB has a current yield of approximately 3.59%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.4 against the original $45.12/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 7.96%.

One more investment quote to leave you with:
“Ensure management’s interests are aligned with shareholders.” — Sam Zell