Photo credit:

“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 Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE: DAL)? Today, we examine the outcome of a ten year investment into the stock back in 2014.

Start date: 02/10/2014


End date: 02/08/2024
Start price/share: $31.21
End price/share: $40.35
Starting shares: 320.41
Ending shares: 360.61
Dividends reinvested/share: $5.86
Total return: 45.51%
Average annual return: 3.82%
Starting investment: $10,000.00
Ending investment: $14,548.23

The above analysis shows the ten year investment result worked out as follows, with an annualized rate of return of 3.82%. This would have turned a $10K investment made 10 years ago into $14,548.23 today (as of 02/08/2024). On a total return basis, that’s a result of 45.51% (something to think about: how might DAL shares perform over the next 10 years?). [These numbers were computed with the Dividend Channel DRIP Returns Calculator.]

Notice that Delta Air Lines Inc paid investors a total of $5.86/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/share, we calculate that DAL has a current yield of approximately 0.99%. Another interesting datapoint we can examine is ‘yield on cost’ — in other words, we can express the current annualized dividend of .4 against the original $31.21/share purchase price. This works out to a yield on cost of 3.17%.

More investment wisdom to ponder:
“Cash combined with courage in a time of crisis is priceless.” — Warren Buffett