Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Friday, November 1, 1996

by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

PITTSBURGH, PA. (November 1, 1996) -- Greetings from the Steel City. As I was flying here today to handle a bit of business (and a bit of shopping -- the Ikea store is amazing), the Boring Portfolio managed to post a half-percent gain, to finish the week up 0.76%.

That outpaced the major market averages, both for the day and the week. The S&P 500 was off -0.21% on Friday and up 0.40% for the week. The Nasdaq was virtually unchanged for both the day and the week: +0.02% on Friday, -0.07% for the week.

The big Borefolio winner was Borders Group, which added $2 1/4 on Friday to Thursday's $1 3/8 advance. There was no news of note either day. My interpretation is simply that the stock was significantly undervalued at $30 and some smart folks finally noticed it.

Oxford Health was the only other Boring stock that posted a gain on Friday. OXHP tacked $1 1/4 onto Thursday's $ 5/8 rise. No news. Oxford reports quarterly earnings on November 7.

Cisco Systems gave back about half of Thursday's gain, while shares of Carlisle Companies and Green Tree were off fractionally. Prime Medical and Solectron were unchanged. I wish I had something to offer you by way of news on some of these stocks, but there's absolutely zilch. Not even an announcement of a new router from Cisco.

On the trip over from DTW to PIT, I managed to scan through the Friday edition of Investor's Business Daily. The Friday issue is definitely worth a buck, in my opinion, because of the section called "Your Weekend Review." It lists stocks that are near their 52-week highs and in some of the strongest stock groups of late. It's a great place to begin your research for new buys.

And if you think these stocks are all high-flying technology wonders, think again. There's plenty of stocks in nice, boring industries. Companies from the oilpatch are right at the top of this week's list -- outfits like Cliffs Drilling and Swift Energy. Just below them are furniture makers Mity Lite (makes lightweight chairs and tables) and Herman Miller (Michigan-based maker of top-of-the-line office furnishings).

The manufactured homes group has long been a Boring favorite, and a handful of the MH stocks are on the list: Nobility Homes and Fleetwood, for example. Then I see Catalina Maketing (POS). Their business is the coupons that appear on the back of your tape register at the supermarket. Amazing, huh?

I spot one of Templar's faves, too: Conso products, the leading supplier of furniture trim, fringes, and such. There's a hardware chain (Eagle), some steel service centers (Gibraltar, Reliance), a towtruck maker (Miller Industries) -- tons of stuff!

The only current Borefolio stock I spy on the list is Solectron. But some of those others might soon be in our fold. Just goes to show that even in these days of 6,000 Dows and 700 S&Ps, there are still some great possibilities out there, if you just dig down.

Have a great week-end folks.

Transmitted: 11/1/96

Stock  Change    Bid
BGP   +2 1/4   33.75
CSL   -  3/4   56.13
CSCO  -1 1/2   60.25
GNT   -  1/4   39.38
OXHP  +1 1/4   46.75
PMSI  ---      12.25
SLR   ---      53.50
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.53%   0.53%  12.88%  12.88%
        S&P 500  -0.21%  -0.21%  13.21%  13.21%
        NASDAQ   +0.02%   0.02%  17.37%  17.37%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change

  2/28/96  200 Borders Gr    22.51     33.75    49.92%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     39.38    29.58%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     12.25    21.66%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     60.25    11.78%
  8/13/96  100 Carlisle C    52.65     56.13     6.60%
 10/15/96  100 Solectron     54.52     53.50    -1.88%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     46.75    -2.65%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change

  2/28/96  200 Borders Gr  4502.49   6750.00  $2247.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7875.00  $1797.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4900.00   $872.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   6025.00   $635.01
  8/13/96  100 Carlisle C  5264.99   5612.50   $347.51
 10/15/96  100 Solectron   5452.49   5350.00  -$102.49
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   4675.00  -$127.49

                             CASH  $15252.86
                            TOTAL  $56440.36

Transmitted: 11/1/96