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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

— Warren Buffett

The Warren Buffett investment philosophy calls for a long-term investment horizon, where a two-decade holding period, or even longer, would fit right into the strategy. How would such a strategy have worked out for an investment into Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL)? Today, we examine the outcome of a two-decade investment into the stock back in 2003.

Start date: 09/15/2003


End date: 09/13/2023
Start price/share: $34.90
End price/share: $15.02
Starting shares: 286.53
Ending shares: 441.51
Dividends reinvested/share: $18.85
Total return: -33.68%
Average annual return: -2.03%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $6,634.21

The above analysis shows the two-decade investment result worked out poorly, with an annualized rate of return of -2.03%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 20 years ago into $6,634.21 today (as of 09/13/2023). On a total return basis, that’s a result of -33.68% (something to think about: how might CCL shares perform over the next 20 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Many investors out there refuse to own any stock that lacks a dividend; in the case of Carnival Corp, investors have received $18.85/share in dividends these past 20 years examined in the exercise above. This means total return was driven not just by share price, but also by the dividends received (and what the investor did with those dividends). For this exercise, what we’ve done with the dividends is to assume they are reinvestted — i.e. used to purchase additional shares (the calculations use closing price on ex-date).

Based upon the most recent annualized dividend rate of 2/share, we calculate that CCL has a current yield of approximately 13.32%. 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 $34.90/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 38.17%.

Here’s one more great investment quote before you go:
“If you can follow only one bit of data, follow the earnings.” — Peter Lynch