Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Thursday, April 10, 1997
by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 10, 1997) -- Market averages closed lower Thursday on relatively light trading as investors awaited Friday's report on inflation in wholesale prices for the month of March. Losses for the Dow and S&P 500 were moderate: 28 points for the Dow, 2.3 points for the S&P. Not so for the Nasdaq, however, which fell more than 1%.

Not so for the Boring Portfolio, either, which also fell more than 1%. Only one Boring holding advanced.

That was OXFORD HEALTHCARE (Nasdaq: OXHP), which continued its week-long run by gaining $1 1/4 to close at a bid of $64 1/4. Earlier this week, Oxford confirmed that it would be entering the Chicagoland market.

Yesterday, Furman-Selz upgraded Oxford to "buy" from "neutral." The firm also raised its earnings estimates to $1.78 for 1997 (from $1.74) and $2.43 for 1998 (from $2.35). Most analysts are forecasting EPS of $1.80 for Oxford this year -- a number that the company has endorsed. As for next year, Furman's revised estimate is in line with what the consensus forecast was as of the beginning of this week (which is the most current estimate I could locate).

Although Oxford was the only Boring stock to advance today, CARLISLE COMPANIES (NYSE: CSL) at least managed to stand pat, at $28 7/8. Fresh stats from major U.S. automakers indicate that vehicle sales are firm, and that should work to the benefit of Carlisle's products in that market. Indicators of activity in the construction industry have also been positive, and Carlisle derives a substantial share of its profits from sales of commercial roofing products.

Carlisle is slated to report its first quarter results on April 17. The Motley Fool will be covering the follow-up conference call. According to First Call, analysts are looking for earnings of $0.41 per share. That would constitute a 17% gain over last year's first quarter. Carlisle also pays a modest dividend, which currently works out to 1.7%.

BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP) slipped a half-point on light volume. A press release today announced that SUCCESSORIES (Nasdaq: SCES) has signed a multi-year agreement with the Waldenbooks division of Borders Group to open up to 100 Successories holiday kiosks at malls through the U.S. The agreement follows a five-kiosk test run during the 1996 holiday shopping season.

Successories markets those, uh, inspirational posters with words like "Teamwork" and "Excellence" emblazoned over pictures of soaring eagles, rowing crews, rock climbers and such -- you know, the perfect gift for your favorite disgruntled postal worker or Dilbert fan.

Presumably, Waldens gets something in return for agreeing to let Successories operate the kiosks at its stores, but details of the deal were not revealed.

As it did late last month, shares of ORACLE CORP (Nasdaq: ORCL) fell today in conjunction with bad news for rival INFORMIX (Nasdaq: IFMX). Oracle lost only a dollar, but Informix dropped nearly 10% after Merrill-Lynch cut Informix's intermediate and long-term ratings.

A new report from Dataquest showed that Oracle increased its lead in the worldwide database software market in 1996. IBM (NYSE: IBM) was second, and Informix was a distant third. Oracle's share plumped to 29.8%, from 27% in 1995. In the report, Dataquest projected that the database market would top $100 billion in 2001, as compared with $55.7 billion last year.

Finally, shares of CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) lost $1 1/2 on Thursday. The company reported that it is opening an office in Israel to develop gigabit routing and switching technology. Cisco will start with a group of 10 engineers in Netanya, Israel, and expects to triple the size of the group within a year.

From the Oops Department: In yesterday's Boring recap, I suggested that you click into Red Herring magazine's Website for an article about Microsoft's possible competition and cooperation with Cisco on networking products. Only one problem: the article's in Upside magazine (, not Red Herring. I managed to get the error corrected late last night, but folks who clicked in here earlier in the evening may have popped over to Red Herring and wondered where the Microsoft story was. If you were unfamiliar with either of these useful and well-written publications before, well, now you know them both! (Which is my way of trying to put a positive spin on my screw-up.)

The big news in the networking industry came after the closing bell tonight as ASCEND COMMUNICATIONS (Nasdaq: ASND) and CASCADE COMMUNICATIONS (Nasdaq: CSCC) posted their first quarter results.

Cascade reported earnings of $0.15 per share, in line with the downward guidance it dropped on investors late last month. For its part, Ascend announced EPS of $0.36, net of extraordinary items. That beat the analysts' consensus, as reported in First Call, by two cents and topped even the high-end estimate by a penny. The Motley Fool will provide detailed coverage of both reports.

(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  -  3/8   25.00
BGP   -  1/2   21.00
CSL   ---      28.88
CSCO  -1 1/2   52.50
GNT   -  1/8   32.13
ORCL  -1       37.38
OXHP  +1 1/4   64.25
PMSI  -  1/2   10.00
TDW   -1 7/8   45.00
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -1.40%   1.94%  -2.80%  11.85%
        S&P:     -0.30%   0.16%   2.37%  21.99%
        NASDAQ:  -1.09%   1.15%  -4.28%  18.71%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     21.00    86.56%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     64.25    33.78%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     28.88     9.69%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     25.00     8.42%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     32.13     5.72%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     10.00    -0.68%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     52.50    -2.60%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     37.38   -23.18%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     45.00    -3.28%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   8400.00  $3897.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   6425.00  $1622.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   5775.00   $510.01
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   6425.00   $347.51
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3750.00   $291.26
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4000.00   -$27.49
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   5250.00  -$139.99
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   3737.50 -$1127.49
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4500.00  -$152.49
                             CASH   $7660.41
                            TOTAL  $55922.91