Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, May 6, 1996

by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, MI, May 6, 1996 -- In its 21st consecutive session without a loss, the Borefolio advanced two percent this Monday, with most of the power supplied by Zytec Corp., maker of -- what else? -- power suppliers.

One week ago, the Borefolio acquired 200 ZTEC at $27.14 apiece, including broker's fees. Today, each of those shares is worth $46.50 -- better than a 71% gain. So should I continue to hold, or is it time to take profits and move on?

Answer: Nobody knows. Nobody. All you can do is make your best judgment based on the information at hand, together with what you had in mind when you bought the stock. Taking all that into account, I'll be selling 200 shares of Zytec sometime tomorrow. The reasoning behind my decision (and that's all it is, is one guy's decision) will be laid out briefly in a separate Zytec sell report that will appear here a bit later this evening.

.... Still there?

If so, then let's proceed with a word or to about the seven other issues in the portfolio.

Three other Boring stocks gained ground today. Prime Medical continued its push into record territory, advancing $ 5/8 to close at a bid price of $16 1/4. In those pre-Zytec days, a gain of 61% in less than two months would have been cause to break out the bubbly. Well, it still is; and PMSI still has a good way to go, in my opinion.

Another $5/8 gainer today was Shaw Group, pipe bender par excellance. SHAW hasn't really done a whole lot since I bought it on April 12, but I continue to like its prospects a lot. Apparently, I'm not alone. The author of a highly-regarded newsletter just offered his own endorsement of SHAW, which may have accounted for the nice move on excellent volume of nearly 220,000 shares.

Monday's third winner was Lam Research, up $3/4. This former black sheep has managed to work its way out of a big hole the past couple of weeks. Lam announced today the appointment of a new Director of Research, Dr. Richard Gottscho, age 43. Gottscho will oversee research programs for Lam's next-generation products for deep submicron process and manufacturing, as well as involve himself in Lam's university relations program.

In its last conference call with analysts, Lam's CEO, Roger Emerick, made it abundantly clear that the company would be making no new hires in the immediate future unless they were exceptional cases. Gottscho certainly qualifies. He spent 15 years at Bell Labs, where he helped pioneer thin film transistor active-matrix liquid crystal displays. Gottscho has served on the National Research Council's Plasma Science Committee and was vice chairman of the Panel on Plasma Processing. Gottscho holds a Ph.D in physical chemistry from MIT, has authored over 140 technical papers, and holds nine patents with an additional six pending. Impressed? Me, too.

Two stocks were "unch" today: Borders Group and LCS Industries. Late last week, Borders announced the planned opening of yet *another* two stores, one in the suburban Pittsburgh area (Monroeville) and one in (get this) the World Trade Center, right at the foot of the Big Apple. (Well, it would be the foot, if Apple's had feet.) As for LCSI, I sorta thought we might see an earnings report today. But as of my deadline, no dice. Maybe tomorrow?

With interest rate concerns still running high, it's no real surprise who the two losers were today. Green Tree lost a dollar, and Texas Industries, which is sensitive to changes in lending rates that affect construction, sank $5/8. From where I sit, these stocks are terrific buys at these prices, and I'm glad to have them in my little port.

Finally, I'm told that the Borefolio's Ironman run of 21 sessions is the subject of Today's Pitch, over in The Motley Fool game area. So why not click over there and try your luck?

Transmitted: 5/6/96

Today's Numbers

BGP --- ...GNT -1 ...LRCX + 3/4 ...LCSI --- 
...PMSI + 5/8 ...SHAW + 5/8 ...TXI - 5/8 ...ZTEC +4  1/4 ...
*Scroll down or expand screen for full portfolio accounting
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +2.00%   6.22%  12.44%  12.44%
        S&P 500  -0.13%  -2.04%   3.09%   3.09%
        NASDAQ   +0.14%  -0.35%  13.96%  13.96%
    Rec'd  #   Security     In At       Now    Change
  4/29/96 200 Zytec          27.14     46.50    71.33%
   3/8/96 400 Prime Medic    10.07     16.25    61.37%
  2/28/96 200 Borders Gro    22.51     33.38    48.27%
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus    54.52     62.00    13.71%
  4/12/96 300 The Shaw Gr    18.84     19.38     2.84%
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree     30.39     30.88     1.61%
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc    48.02     44.50    -7.33%
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr    26.14     23.50   -10.10%
    Rec'd  #   Security      Cost     Value    Change
  4/29/96 200 Zytec        5427.49   9300.00  $3872.51
   3/8/96 400 Prime Medic  4027.49   6500.00  $2472.51
  2/28/96 200 Borders Gro  4502.49   6675.00  $2172.51
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus  5449.99   6200.00   $750.01
  4/12/96 300 The Shaw Gr  5652.49   5812.50   $160.01
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree   6077.49   6175.00    $97.51
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc  4802.49   4450.00  -$352.49
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr  5227.49   4700.00  -$527.49
                             CASH   $6406.99
                            TOTAL  $56219.49