Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, May 5, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (May 5, 1997) -- Last week's market rally spilled over into Monday, fueled by news that the federal government could enact some form of capital gains tax cut this year. The Dow soared 142 points, or 2%, to close at a record high of 7214. The S&P 500 zoomed 17 points, or 2.1%, to set its own all-time high of 830.

As for the Nasdaq Composite, it switched into warp drive in an effort to close the gap between itself and the blue-chip indices. By day's end, the Nasdaq had zoomed 34 points, or 2.6%, to close at 1339. Even with that, the Nasdaq still has about another 60 points to go before it establishes a new high. Nasdaq trading was extremely heavy, in excess of 830 million shares.

(By the way, on Friday my enthusiasm got the best of me, and I slipped an order of magnitude in reporting Nasdaq volume: we're approaching a billion shares in volume, not a trillion. The trillion mark probably won't come for another four or five years yet. ;-)

The Boring Portfolio advanced a ho-hum third of a percentage point, with five holdings up, two unchanged, and two down.

Relatively few stocks sold off in today's broad-based rally, but the Borefolio happens to hold one of them. OXFORD HEALTH PLANS (Nasdaq: OXHP) slid $3 7/8, perhaps as traders locked in recent gains in advance of the company's quarterly earnings report tomorrow morning. According to First Call, the consensus earnings estimate is $0.40 per share, which would represent a 60% increase over last year. We at The Motley Fool will be covering the follow-up conference call and will provide you with a timely synopsis

Oxford issued a four-page press release today to apologize for delays in processing claims that have occurred in recent months as the company has transitioned to a new information management system. CEO Steve Wiggins also outlined specific steps Oxford is taking to correct the matter. I suspect that this, along with Oxford's plans to move into the Chicago market, will be important topics in tomorrow's call.

Tonight's Borefolio highlights some relevant Websites for research on Boring stocks. Oxford's site,, contains a wealth of information that should be of interest to Oxford customers and shareholders.

Shares of BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP) were the only other Borefolio loser, down $1/8. Earlier in the session, BGP was off a full dollar, and on fairly heavy volume. A phone call to the Borders revealed that there was no news that might account for the decline and that company management was scheduled to speak at an institutional investors' conference during the day. Borders will report earnings for its April quarter on the morning of May 14. The Motley Fool will be covering Borders' conference call, also.

Borders Website is . In addition to copies of the company's various SEC filings and recent news, the site offers book reviews, a listing of store locations, and a calendar of store events. Borders says that it will have an Internet bookstore up and running later this year.

ATLAS AIR (NASDAQ: ATLS) continued its ascent, rising $3/4 to a bid of $29 3/4. It's been exactly two months since Atlas joined the Borefolio. In that time, the stock has gained 27%. The company announced today that Stan Wraight, 50, had moved over from KLM to become Atlas's new Sr. VP of Marketing. No Atlas Website yet, but one is under construction.

TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW), advanced $1/2. Our synopsis of the company's conference call held last Thursday afternoon is available in TMF's "Earnings Central" section.

ORACLE (Nasdaq: ORCL) added $2 3/8 to Friday's $1 7/8 gain. Lehman Brothers reiterated their "buy" on ORCL today. On Friday, Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund, a longtime MICROSOFT (Nasdaq: MSFT) bull, suggested that Bill's excellent company might take a tip from Oracle's NC initiative and focus a bit more on addressing "the total cost of ownership ... for their systems."

Oracle's Website is -- what else? -- . As you might suspect, it is exceptionally well stocked with Oracle product information, news, and financial data.

The billion-dollar corporate Website, however, belongs to CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO). At , you'll find not only the company's own press releases and earnings reports but also links to stories about the company that have appeared in various trade and business publications, such as the feature story on Cisco in the current issue of Fortune. You'll also find an overview of Cisco's product line and detailed technical information on each and every router, switch, and access box Cisco sells. Heck, you can buy those products at the site, if you should happen to need a new high-end router to dress up your rec room.

Speaking of high-end routers (neat transition, huh?), Cisco confirmed that they'll be previewing their gigabit-speed, layer-three switching, Big Fast Router at the Networld+Interop trade show, which opens Tuesday in Las Vegas. According to a story in Infoworld (, the long-awaited device will -- which apparently will be officially called the Gibabit Switch Router (GSR) -- will be capable of forwarding as many as 25 million packets per second -- or about 2.5 times as fast as current industry offerings.

Cisco's brand new 3800-series multiservice access concentrators, which could end up being a bigger money-maker than even the BFR -- or GSR or whatever -- will also be at the show, as will a demo of tag switching, reportedly.

Oh yeah, the stock. SoundView Financial upgraded CSCO to short-term "buy" from "hold" and reiterated their long-term "buy" rating. In their report, SoundView raised its fiscal 1997 (ending July) earnings estimate for Cisco by two cents, to $2.04 a share. CSCO gained $1 1/2 to close at a bid of $58 5/8.

Oh yeah, the earnings report. Cisco reports results for its April quarter on Tuesday after the close of trading. The "official" consensus earnings estimate, from First Call, is $0.52 a share. Much more important than whether or not Cisco makes its number for a quarter that is already in the history books is what the company has to say in its follow-up conference call about the remainder of 1997 and on into 1998. We at The Motley Fool will be covering that call and reporting back to you, pronto.

(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  +  3/4   29.25
BGP   -  1/8   20.63
CSL   +  3/8   30.13
CSCO  +1 1/2   58.63
GNT   ---      30.88
ORCL  +2 3/8   44.75
OXHP  -3 7/8   64.38
PMSI  ---      9.75
TDW   +  1/2   39.50
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.33%   3.35%  -0.72%  14.25%
        S&P:     +2.12%   3.60%  12.08%  33.55%
        NASDAQ:  +2.60%   6.23%   3.74%  28.66%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     20.63    83.23%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     64.38    34.05%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     29.25    26.85%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     30.13    14.44%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     58.63     8.77%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     30.88     1.60%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07      9.75    -3.17%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     44.75    -8.02%
           100 Tidewater     46.52     39.50   -15.10%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   8250.00  $3747.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   6437.50  $1635.01
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4387.50   $928.76
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   6025.00   $760.01
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   5862.50   $472.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   6175.00    $97.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   3900.00  -$127.49
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   4475.00  -$389.99
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   3950.00  -$702.49
CASH $7660.41 TOTAL $57122.91