Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Wednesday, April 9, 1997
by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (April 9, 1997) -- The Boring Portfolio's winning streak snapped at five as stocks failed to hold their early gains. The Dow ended Wednesday's session down 45 points (-0.69%). The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indices fell by approximately the same percentage.

Perhaps I can take some comfort in the fact that the Borefolio's loss was only about half that much, with losers outpacing winners five to four.

OXFORD HEALTH PLANS (Nasdaq: OXHP) added $1 7/8 today, to close at a bid of $63. That makes $5 that Oxford has risen so far this week.

Yesterday the company announced it will acquire an interest in Compass PPA, Inc., parent company of Compass Health Care Plans. Oxford will utilize Compass's network of 1,800 primary care physicians and 74 hospitals in the Chicago metro area to expand into an entirely new marketing region for the company.

The analyst who covers Oxford for Cowen & Co. reportedly hiked her earnings estimates by a couple of cents after being briefed by Oxford management about the news. I'll see if I can get further details.

PRIME MEDICAL SERVICES (Nasdaq: PMSI) advanced $1/8. That's a bit less dramatic than Oxford's leap, but at least it's in the right direction. That's not to be sniffed at in this market.

TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW) continued to roll, adding a half-point to its gains on Monday and Tuesday. With that increment, the Tide moved back into the black for the Borefolio. Black, after all, is the appropriate color for an oil-related stock, no?

CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) fell $1 1/4, perhaps as some traders got out of the way in advance of earnings reports from ASCEND (Nasdaq: ASND) and CASCADE (Nasdaq: CSCC) tomorrow.

In yesterday's Boring recap I claimed that investors should expect to see increasing cooperation and competition among the big three of INTEL (Nasdaq: INTC), MICROSOFT (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Cisco as all of them converge to accelerate the interconnectedness of computing and telecommunications.

Yesterday, the news was about new networking hardware that Intel is introducing. Now, I see that the latest issue of Red Herring features an article on how Microsoft may fit into the future of networking, sometimes cooperating with and sometimes competing with Cisco, especially (but perhaps not only) in terms of developing the next-generation of software needed to get all the hardware to sing in harmony. As you can probably tell, I find all this terribly interesting and exciting. You can read the article at

GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT) gave back $1 5/8 of the growth it had sprouted following a withering away that coincided with the recent back-up in bond yields. The company announced today the formation of a new financial services program in partnership with FEATHERLITE (Nasdaq: FTHR). The new program will offer retail consumer financing and equipment financing to qualified Featherlite customers and dealers as well as inventory financing to qualified Featherlite dealers.

Featherlite designs, manufactures and markets specialty trailers, including horse, livestock, utility and cargo, snowmobile and car trailers, race car transports, drop frame vans, and luxury motorcoaches. The company sells its products through a network of more than 240 full-line dealers and over 600 limited-line dealers in the U.S. and Canada.

Green Tree will administer the financing program, which will cover all Featherlite products. This new agreement appears to fit Green Tree nicely, in light of the company's substantial experience with financing these kinds of products, and I would assume it will add something to Green Tree's earnings this year and beyond.

We'll be able to find out more in that regard pretty soon, as Green Tree will report its first quarter results on Thursday, April 17, in the morning. According to First Call, analysts' are expecting earnings of $0.63 per share. That would constitute a fine 31% year-over-year gain.

(c) Copyright 1997, The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. This material is for personal use only. Republication and redissemination, including posting to news groups, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of The Motley Fool.

Stock  Change    Bid
ATLS  -1       25.38
BGP   +  5/8   21.50
CSL   -  3/8   28.88
CSCO  -1 1/4   54.00
GNT   -1 5/8   32.25
ORCL  -1       38.38
OXHP  +1 7/8   63.00
PMSI  +  1/8   10.50
TDW   +  1/2   46.88
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -0.37%   3.38%  -1.43%  13.43%
        S&P:     -0.72%   0.46%   2.68%  22.36%
        NASDAQ:  -0.63%   2.27%  -3.22%  20.03%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     21.50    91.01%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     63.00    31.18%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     25.38    10.05%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     28.88     9.69%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     32.25     6.13%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     10.50     4.28%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     54.00     0.19%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     38.38   -21.12%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     46.88     0.75%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   8600.00  $4097.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   6300.00  $1497.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   5775.00   $510.01
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   6450.00   $372.51
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3806.25   $347.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4200.00   $172.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   5400.00    $10.01
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   3837.50 -$1027.49
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4687.50    $35.01
CASH $7660.41 TOTAL $56716.66