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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 Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. (NASD: EXPD), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a five year holding period.

Start date: 11/07/2016


End date: 11/04/2021
Start price/share: $51.97
End price/share: $130.73
Starting shares: 192.42
Ending shares: 205.31
Dividends reinvested/share: $4.76
Total return: 168.40%
Average annual return: 21.87%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $26,839.72

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 21.87%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $26,839.72 today (as of 11/04/2021). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 168.40% (something to think about: how might EXPD shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. paid investors a total of $4.76/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 1.16/share, we calculate that EXPD has a current yield of approximately 0.89%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.16 against the original $51.97/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.71%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.” — Warren Buffett