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“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a ten year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Cintas Corporation (NASD: CTAS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a ten year investment into the stock back in 2010.

Start date: 05/06/2010


End date: 05/05/2020
Start price/share: $26.10
End price/share: $210.74
Starting shares: 383.14
Ending shares: 443.09
Dividends reinvested/share: $12.74
Total return: 833.78%
Average annual return: 25.02%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $93,395.58

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 25.02%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $93,395.58 today (as of 05/05/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 833.78% (something to think about: how might CTAS shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Cintas Corporation paid investors a total of $12.74/share in dividends over the 10 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 2.55/share, we calculate that CTAS has a current yield of approximately 1.21%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2.55 against the original $26.10/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 4.64%.

One more piece of investment wisdom to leave you with:
“I rarely think the market is right. I believe non-dividend stocks aren’t much more than baseball cards. They are worth what you can convince someone to pay for it.” — Mark Cuban