Dueling Fools

Dueling Fools
March 24, 1999

Battlestar Gillette-ica
Gillette price (3/23/99): $61 3/4

From its namesake razors to Duracell batteries to that Papermate pen on your desk -- Gillette (NYSE: G) is everywhere. This week, it's here, with a pair of Fools who can't agree on which way this blademaker cuts.

Louis Corrigan (TMF Seymor) thinks the shares are a smooth bargain. Warren Gump (TMF Gump) thinks they are disposable. Who will win? You get to dole out the ultimate "Gotcha!"

And don't miss this week's Duel Flashback, where we will see who Swooshed who in our Nike (NYSE: NKE) Duel.

You Get to Vote!

Once you've read the arguments and the rebuttals, it's your time to cast your vote. We'll tabulate results each week and revisit them from time to time to see whether you were right! As always, we invite you to join us in the Dueling Fools Message board to continue the duel.

[Any suggestions, comments, praise, or flames, please send them along to the Dueling Fools Team.]

The Bull...
Imagine a company built around a mass market product that's driven by proprietary technology and sophisticated engineering. Let's say gross profit margins are around 62%. Its market share stands at, oh, 70%. Sounds a lot like Intel. But this is a repeat-purchase product used by basically everyone on the planet. It's backed by a widely recognized consumer brand. It even features some great ergonomic styling.
The Bear...
This Duel is one of the more challenging that I've written. Gillette is the world's dominant shaving products company and has an extraordinarily lucrative royalty stream from the repeat business of selling blades. The company has been a leader in innovation, with the new MACH3 shaving system taking the world by storm according to initial sales data. Despite the success of this product line, I would still be inclined to stay away from Gillette stock given the company prospects and the price of Gillette stock.

Results for last week's eBay Duel

Answer Percentage
I can't make up my mind


TMF Edible's Bull argument


TMF Parlay's Bear argument


They were both excellent


They were both lame