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“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a ten year holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI)? Today, we examine the outcome of a ten year investment into the stock back in 2012.

Start date: 12/17/2012


End date: 12/15/2022
Start price/share: $41.91
End price/share: $142.86
Starting shares: 238.61
Ending shares: 325.27
Dividends reinvested/share: $25.58
Total return: 364.68%
Average annual return: 16.60%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $46,449.98

As shown above, the ten year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 16.60%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $46,449.98 today (as of 12/15/2022). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 364.68% (something to think about: how might DRI shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Darden Restaurants, Inc. paid investors a total of $25.58/share in dividends over the 10 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 4.84/share, we calculate that DRI has a current yield of approximately 3.39%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 4.84 against the original $41.91/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 8.09%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“The right time for a company to finance its growth is not when it needs capital, but rather when the market is most receptive to providing capital.” — Michael Milken