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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 Cintas Corporation (NASD: CTAS)? Today, we examine the outcome of a five year investment into the stock back in 2018.

Start date: 08/22/2018


End date: 08/21/2023
Start price/share: $212.42
End price/share: $486.02
Starting shares: 47.08
Ending shares: 49.90
Dividends reinvested/share: $19.36
Total return: 142.52%
Average annual return: 19.38%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $24,246.99

As shown above, the five year investment result worked out exceptionally well, with an annualized rate of return of 19.38%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 5 years ago into $24,246.99 today (as of 08/21/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 142.52% (something to think about: how might CTAS shares perform over the next 5 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Cintas Corporation paid investors a total of $19.36/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 5.4/share, we calculate that CTAS has a current yield of approximately 1.11%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of 5.4 against the original $212.42/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 0.52%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“All the opportunity in the world means nothing if you don’t actually pull the trigger.” — Sam Zell