Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, May 14, 1996

by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, MI, May 14, 1996 -- Last night's Boring Portfolio update focused on Borders Group. In it, I rattled on about why I thought the stock still had plenty of growth ahead of it. Today, BGP lost $1. So much for Boring's market-moving powers.

Not only did Borders lose ground today, so did three other Borefolio stocks: Green Tree, Prime Medical, and LCS Industries. So while the NASDAQ was loping into new record territory, with the S&P jogging just behind, the Borefolio moon-walked its way to a minus one-percent session. Ewww-w-w.

There was no news on any of today's four losing stocks that might account for their behavior. Of course, in today's nonlinearly dynamical market, almost anything can set a stock off in one direction or another in the short run. It's the longer-run that matters, and from that perspective, I like the Borefolio holdings just fine.

Lam Research, one of our gainers today, offered some news. The company officially introduced (Ta-dah!) "Continuum(TM), a flat panel display (FPD) etch system that enables cost-effective volume production of new generations of large-size FPDs for future business and home applications."

According to the press release, this new system "utilizes leading-edge semiconductor etch technology that combines high etch rates and throughput with advanced process performance" and "employs Lam's patented Transformer Coupled Plasma(TM) technology."

The press release goes on like this for two pages, but I'll spare you. If you should want the full story, search today's news under, uh, "seven-sided transport cluster tool." Man, talk about boring -- this stuff lifted me right off into dreamtime.

Actually, even if we non-gearheads can't grok much from the press release, the big picture (literally) is clear: most of us want larger, brighter, higher-resolution screens on our laptop computers, and we'd also like them to consume less power. Lam's new equipment is said to offer the ability to meet these demands for an FPD etch market that is projected to grow to $220 million by the year 2000, according to Lam. Oh, big bucks. Now I get it!

And now for something completely different. This past Friday, The Motley Fool posted a lengthy research report (by yours truly) on carbon-fiber maker Zoltek Corp. (Nasdaq: ZOLT). Imagine our surprise on Saturday when we went to the mailbox, retrieved the latest issue of Barron's, and discovered that Alan Abelson, offered his own Zoltek report (or actually one provided for him by researcher Kate Welling).

A few hours ago, Zsolt Rumy posted his response to Abelson's piece right here in Fooldom's Zoltek stock folder. (He used Mary Rumy's AOL account; apparently Zsolt isn't wired in himself yet.) I just finished calling Mr. Rumy's office at Zoltek Corp. a few minutes ago to confirm the authenticity of the post. It's real.

For those of you interested in seeing the piece on Zoltek can find it for a little while in the listbox to the right of this report. You can also find it in the FoolWire & Specials section of our Stock Research area, where it will reside in perpetuity. There's also a link in there to the Zoltek message folder, where you can read Zsolt Rumy's response.

Then you can make up your own mind -- how Foolish.

Transmitted: 5/14/96

Today's Numbers


BGP -1 ...GNT - 5/8 ...LRCX + 1/4 ...LCSI - 1/2 ...PMSI - 7/8 ...SHAW + 1/4 ...TXI +1 1/4 ...

Day Month Year History

BORING -1.01% 1.87% 7.83% 7.83%

S&P 500 +0.62% 1.75% 7.08% 7.08%

NASDAQ +1.03% 3.69% 18.58% 18.58%

Rec'd # Security In At Now Change

2/28/96 200 Borders Gro 22.51 35.63 58.26%

3/8/96 400 Prime Medic 10.07 15.50 53.92%

1/29/96 100 Texas Indus 54.52 65.25 19.67%

2/2/96 200 Green Tree 30.39 33.25 9.42%

4/12/96 300 The Shaw Gr 18.84 17.63 -6.45%

2/23/96 100 Lam Researc 48.02 43.50 -9.41%

3/25/96 200 LCS Industr 26.14 18.00 -31.14%

Rec'd # Security Cost Value Change

2/28/96 200 Borders Gro 4502.49 7125.00 $2622.51

3/8/96 400 Prime Medic 4027.49 6200.00 $2172.51

2/2/96 200 Green Tree 6077.49 6650.00 $572.51

4/12/96 300 The Shaw Gr 5652.49 5287.50 -$364.99

2/23/96 100 Lam Researc 4802.49 4350.00 -$452.49

3/25/96 200 LCS Industr 5227.49 3600.00 -$1627.49

1/29/96 100 Texas Indus 5449.99 6525.00 $1075.01

CASH $14179.50

TOTAL $53917.00