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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 2018, and take a look at what happened to investors who asked that very question about AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC), by taking a look at the investment outcome over a five year holding period.

Start date: 04/11/2018


End date: 04/10/2023
Start price/share: $89.09
End price/share: $166.38
Starting shares: 112.25
Ending shares: 121.65
Dividends reinvested/share: $8.59
Total return: 102.41%
Average annual return: 15.14%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $20,236.30

As we can see, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 15.14%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $20,236.30 today (as of 04/10/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 102.41% (something to think about: how might ABC shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that AmerisourceBergen Corp. paid investors a total of $8.59/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 1.94/share, we calculate that ABC has a current yield of approximately 1.17%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 1.94 against the original $89.09/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 1.31%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“Games are won by players who focus on the playing field, not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.” — Warren Buffett