For traditional buy-and-hold investors, most are impressed with gaining a double- or triple-digit return after holding a stock for a number of years. But for those lucky enough to have invested in the right stocks between 1970 and 1990, the stellar returns by some of these companies have crossed the 20,000% mark. In this piece, we highlight eight stocks that have gained more than this impressive threshold.
Please note that all data is as of 1/6/2015.
Home Depot Up Over 300,000%
Since September of 1981, Home Depot (HD ) stock has gained more than 300,000%. Even after HD took a hit following the 2008 crisis, the stock was quick to gain traction once again, rising more than 300% since its 2009 lows.
Wal-Mart Up Over 130,000%
From August of 1972, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT ) has gained over 130,000%. From 1997 to 1999, the stock soared, rising from about $11.4 to $70 per share. Following its peak in 1999, WMT logged in several up-and-down years; within the trailing 5-year period, however, the stock has gained over 60%, surpassing its 1999 high.
Be sure to also read Wal-Mart and the Recession Factor.
Disney Up Over 48,000%
Since January of 1962, the Walt Disney Company’s (DIS ) stock has gained over 48,000%. Between 1962 and 1980, the stock did not even reach above the $1.00 threshold. By 1985, the stock slowly but surely began to pick up steam, rising to over $40 by the end of 1999. Following that high, DIS struggled to gain traction; over the last five years, however, the stock has gained over 180%.
Microsoft Up Over 45,000%
From March of 1986, Microsoft (MSFT ) has gained over 47,000%. The stock reached its all time high in 1999 at just under $59 a share. Following its peak, the stock took a deep hit, and continued trading lower until it finally began to gain some traction in 2013.
UnitedHealth Group Up Over 30,000%
From March of 1990, UnitedHealth Group (UNH ) shares have gained over 30,000%. Since 2000, however, the stock has gained more than 1,000%, even after taking a steep hit during the 2008 financial crisis. Since its lows in 2009, UNH has gained over 300%.
Nike Up Over 28,000%
Since 1980, Nike (NKE ) stock has gained over 28,000%. Between 1980 and 1990, NKE traded within a narrow range, then began to pick up during the late 1990s. After taking a slight dip in 2008, Nike shares have skyrocketed since 2009; NKE is up roughly 200% over the trailing 5-year period.
McDonald’s Up Over 27,000%
From January of 1970, McDonald’s (MCD ) stock has risen over 27,000%. Between 1970 and 1981, MCD’s price stayed below the $1.00 mark, but during the 1990s the stock began to climb, reaching a price of roughly $45 at the end of 1999. MCD shares took a slight dip following that peak, but managed to gain ground again by 2003.
Sysco Corporation Up Over 24,000%
Since May of 1973, Sysco Corporation (SYY ) has gained over 24,000%. SYY reached its peak in 2004 at $39.05; after that, the stock took a slight dip in 2008 and 2009. Over the trailing 5-year period, however, Sysco has gained over 40%.
The Bottom Line
While some of these companies are still not at their pre-recession highs, all of these companies have exhibited stellar returns since the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. While not all investments will result in such gains, these securities are a testament to the validity and effectiveness of a traditional buy-and-hold strategy.