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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 Sealed Air Corp (NYSE: SEE)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2016.

Start date: 02/26/2016


End date: 02/25/2021
Start price/share: $46.27
End price/share: $42.21
Starting shares: 216.12
Ending shares: 233.22
Dividends reinvested/share: $3.17
Total return: -1.56%
Average annual return: -0.31%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $9,845.87

The above analysis shows the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -0.31%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $9,845.87 today (as of 02/25/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -1.56% (something to think about: how might SEE shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Sealed Air Corp paid investors a total of $3.17/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 .64/share, we calculate that SEE has a current yield of approximately 1.52%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .64 against the original $46.27/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.29%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety.” — Benjamin Graham