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“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a twenty year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Comcast Corp (NASD: CMCSA)? Today, we examine the outcome of a twenty year investment into the stock back in 1999.

Start date: 07/26/1999


End date: 07/24/2019
Start price/share: $11.57
End price/share: $44.87
Starting shares: 864.30
Ending shares: 1,058.27
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.66
Total return: 374.85%
Average annual return: 8.10%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $47,510.75

As we can see, the twenty year investment result worked out well, with an annualized rate of return of 8.10%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $47,510.75 today (as of 07/24/2019). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 374.85% (something to think about: how might CMCSA shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Comcast Corp paid investors a total of $4.66/share in dividends over the 20 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 .84/share, we calculate that CMCSA has a current yield of approximately 1.87%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .84 against the original $11.57/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 16.16%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“Value investing means really asking what are the best values, and not assuming that because something looks expensive that it is, or assuming that because a stock is down in price and trades at low multiples that it is a bargain.” — Bill Miller