You never know what will happen to any company, but assuming that Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) continues on its current course, shares of the nation's second biggest bank are on track to double in a little over 15 years.
To be clear, I'm not making a prediction. I'm instead just extrapolating into the future the growth rate of Bank of America's book value per share, which heavily influences its share price.
Over the past 18 quarters, Bank of America's book value per share has increased by a median of 4.6% over the year-ago period. At that rate, Bank of America's book value per share will double its current stock price in 2032 or 2033.
Now, there are a lot of variables that will influence this rate, as well as the return an investor can expect from Bank of America. In the first case, the valuation of its shares could, and probably will, increase over the next few years.
The bank's stock currently trades for a 6% discount to book value. But as its profitability improves, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank could easily trade in the years ahead for a 50% premium to book value. That would obviously shorten the amount of time it will take Bank of America's stock to double.
There's also the possibility that Bank of America's book value per share could grow at a more rapid annual rate. This will be dependent largely on the bank's profitability. The more money it makes and retains, the faster its book value per share grows.
Bank of America is already making a lot of money, but it will make even more if interest rates head higher, as many expect them to do. If this happens, the growth in the bank's book value per share would accelerate, shortening the amount of time it'd take Bank of America's stock to double.
Finally, while dividends won't affect a bank's stock price, they should be factored into an investor's analysis. In Bank of America's case, its shares yield 2.1%. Assuming this yield stays constant, and that the distributions are reinvested back into Bank of America's stock, then that would mean that an investment in Bank of America today would double in total value in a little over a decade, holding valuations equal.
At the end of the day, predictions like these are inherently vulnerable to error, given the challenge of accurately forecasting the future. At the same time, however, assuming that Bank of America is able to keep chugging along at its current rate of growth, this is the time frame over which investors can expect to produce a one-bagger.