Drip Port News and Views

Format for Printing

Format for printing

Request Reprints


By Vince Hanks
May 4, 2000

Browsing the headlines of the Drip Port's holdings this week, I have a few brief thoughts to offer:

News: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced Monday the national introduction of Motrin Migraine Pain, the first over-the-counter (OTC) ibuprofen product specifically indicated to treat migraine headaches in adults.

Views: What McNeil unveiled this week wasn't actually a new product, it was a new package. Motrin Migraine Pain contains 200 mg of ibuprofen, not at all coincidentally the exact same ingredient in regular OTC Motrin IB, which has been on the market since 1984. What's new is FDA approval as an OTC indicated for migraine headaches and a colorful new box.

While this may seem a little sneaky, the company understands full-well the power of marketing. Consumers like to see a specific mention of the symptoms they're experiencing on the products they're purchasing. A more narrowly focused indication being promoted leads to higher confidence in consumers when seeking treatment. While the drug may not know that it's going after a migraine and not a groin-pull or fever, the consumer might think it does due to the labeling.

News: Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) and the rest of the packaged food industry got a boost from an ill-fated takeover attempt of Bestfoods (NYSE: BFO) by Unilever Corp.

Views: The packaged food industry has been snoozing for a few years now at the very least. Low inflation and increased competition from industry rivals, as well as in-store brands, has bogged down profit growth. Due to this, food companies are seeking to expand their markets while cutting costs. One way to achieve this is by acquiring industry-leading brand names and channeling them through existing distribution lines. With the pressure food companies have been under recently, more merger attempts are likely in the near future.

News: Mellon Bank (NYSE: MEL) unveils Mellon TradeLinks business-to-business electronic bill presentment and payment system.

Views: Mellon TradeLinks allows customer's to conduct business via quick, easy, and inexpensive access to electronic data, without the need to purchase additional hardware or software. The service allows for flexible, online invoice adjustments and integrates electronic bill presentment and payment data with existing accounts receivable applications. It also houses payers' banking information, preventing sensitive data from moving over the Internet. It's this sort of innovation and diversity, along with its high profitability ratios, that make Mellon an attractive long-term investment among the banking industry.

Drip on, Fools!

Drip Portfolio

5/4/2000 Closing Numbers
Ticker Company Day Chg % Chg Price
CPBCAMPBELL SOUP-1-3.38%$28.56
INTCINTEL CORP1/20.42%$119.56
JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON-3/16-0.23%$83.06

  Day Week Month Year
To Date
Drip -.63% -3.28% -3.28% 13.50% 47.45% 15.05%
S&P 500 -.40% -2.96% -2.96% -4.07% 50.13% 15.79%
S&P 500(DA) -.40% -2.96% -2.96% -4.07% 52.75% 16.52%
S&P 500(DCA) n/a n/a n/a n/a 23.15% 7.81%
NASDAQ .35% -3.64% -3.64% -8.58% 137.02% 36.54%

Trade Date # Shares Ticker Cost/Share Price LT % Val Chg

Trade Date # Shares Ticker Cost Value LT $ Val Ch
  Cash: $0.01  
  Total: $5,202.42  

• S&P 500 (DA) = dividend adjusted. Dividends have been added to the total return of the index.

Drip Port launched with $500 on July 28, 1997, adds $100 to invest every month, and the goal is to own $150,000 in stock by August of the year 2017. Due to the slow nature of dollar-cost-averaging and our relatively significant starting costs, we do not expect to seriously challenge the S&P 500 for the first three to five years as we build an investment base. The long-term advantages of dollar-cost-averaging still overcome the short-term disadvantages, however. Final note: our investment in Campbell Soup is frozen due to fees instituted in its investment plan. Click here for a history of all Drip Port transactions.