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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 NetApp, Inc. (NASD: NTAP)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2017.

Start date: 06/16/2017


End date: 06/15/2022
Start price/share: $37.98
End price/share: $65.43
Starting shares: 263.30
Ending shares: 301.01
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.24
Total return: 96.95%
Average annual return: 14.52%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $19,697.30

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out quite well, with an annualized rate of return of 14.52%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $19,697.30 today (as of 06/15/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 96.95% (something to think about: how might NTAP shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that NetApp, Inc. paid investors a total of $8.24/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 2/share, we calculate that NTAP has a current yield of approximately 3.06%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 2 against the original $37.98/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 8.06%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.” — Jawaharlal Nehru