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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 Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE: UHS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2015.

Start date: 10/22/2015


End date: 10/21/2020
Start price/share: $111.73
End price/share: $111.88
Starting shares: 89.50
Ending shares: 91.02
Dividends reinvested/share: $2.10
Total return: 1.83%
Average annual return: 0.36%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $10,181.40

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 0.36%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $10,181.40 today (as of 10/21/2020). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 1.83% (something to think about: how might UHS shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Universal Health Services, Inc. paid investors a total of $2.10/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 .8/share, we calculate that UHS has a current yield of approximately 0.72%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .8 against the original $111.73/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.64%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“If you can follow only one bit of data, follow the earnings.” — Peter Lynch