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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 above quote from Warren Buffett is timeless, and brings into focus the choice about time horizon that any investor should think about before buying a stock they are considering. Behind every stock is an actual business; what will that business look like over a five year period?

Today, let’s look backwards in time to 2016, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Amgen Inc (NASD: AMGN), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a five year holding period.

Start date: 07/14/2016


End date: 07/13/2021
Start price/share: $162.74
End price/share: $244.83
Starting shares: 61.45
Ending shares: 70.69
Dividends reinvested/share: $27.60
Total return: 73.07%
Average annual return: 11.59%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $17,303.20

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 11.59%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $17,303.20 today (as of 07/13/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 73.07% (something to think about: how might AMGN shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Amgen Inc paid investors a total of $27.60/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 7.04/share, we calculate that AMGN has a current yield of approximately 2.88%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 7.04 against the original $162.74/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.77%.

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