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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 2017, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about Hess Corp (NYSE: HES), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a five year holding period.

Start date: 05/22/2017


End date: 05/19/2022
Start price/share: $49.24
End price/share: $113.43
Starting shares: 203.09
Ending shares: 222.53
Dividends reinvested/share: $5.12
Total return: 152.42%
Average annual return: 20.37%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $25,243.53

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 20.37%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $25,243.53 today (as of 05/19/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 152.42% (something to think about: how might HES shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Hess Corp paid investors a total of $5.12/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 1.5/share, we calculate that HES has a current yield of approximately 1.32%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.5 against the original $49.24/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 2.68%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“The stock market is a device to transfer money from the impatient to the patient.” — Warren Buffett