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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 Las Vegas Sands Corp (NYSE: LVS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2017.

Start date: 07/20/2017


End date: 07/19/2022
Start price/share: $62.16
End price/share: $35.53
Starting shares: 160.88
Ending shares: 184.47
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.33
Total return: -34.46%
Average annual return: -8.10%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $6,555.07

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -8.10%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $6,555.07 today (as of 07/19/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -34.46% (something to think about: how might LVS shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Las Vegas Sands Corp paid investors a total of $8.33/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 3.16/share, we calculate that LVS has a current yield of approximately 8.89%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 3.16 against the original $62.16/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 14.30%.

Another great investment quote to think about:
“If you can follow only one bit of data, follow the earnings.” — Peter Lynch