Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, May 27, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (May 27, 1997) -- The benchmark averages pushed further into record territory on this first day of trading after the Memorial Day hiatus. The S&P 500 gained 0.32% -- good but no match for the Nasdaq, where strength in chip stocks powered the average up 19 points, or 1.4%

The Boring Portfolio edged out the S&P, rising 0.34% in net asset value. Six holdings rose, while three declined.

PRIME MEDICAL SERVICES (Nasdaq: PMSI) set the pace for the Borefolio last week, gaining 12.7%. The stock continued strong on decent volume today, gaining $1/4 on the bid side, to close at $11 3/8.

Also on the upside, CARLISLE (NYSE: CSL) added $1/4 to Friday's $1/8 gain following the company's announcement that it will purchase the assets of Milwaukee-based Neilson Wheel.

GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT) was among the losers. The yield on the long bond flirted with the 7% mark for most of last week, and today it crossed over that psychologically significant line, reaching 7.02%. That affected stocks in the financial sector, including GNT, which shed $1/4.

The Borefolio's core technology holdings, CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) and ORACLE (Nasdaq: ORCL) continued their impressive recoveries: Cisco rose $1 3/8 to a bid of $68 5/8, while Oracle picked up $3/8, to close at $47 1/4.

CSCO is now trading spot-on 30-times projected earnings of $2.28 per share for calendar year 1997 (based on fresh data from First Call), and ORCL is trading at 33.75 its projected calendar '97 EPS of $1.40. Neither stock is thus a screaming bargain at current prices. On the other hand, neither is trading at a discernible premium to its projected long-term EPS growth rate. And both companies have significant new product launches slated for the balance of the year, which offer reasonable possibilities for upward EPS revisions in coming months.

Cisco announced today the availability of new software that will help network managers, um, manage networks. You know ... monitor traffic volume, find out what equipment is acting up, check for hackers, keep addresses up to date -- stuff like that. The (ta-da!) "Cisco Netsys Service-Level Management Suite" draws on technology Cisco got when it acquired Netsys Technologies last November. Perhaps not coincidentally, ASCEND COMMUNICATIONS (Nasdaq: ASND) introduced what looks to me to be a competing product today, also.

Update: A week ago, Cisco announced it had won a "multi-million dollar" contract to build a data network connecting major banks in China. An item in the current issue of Business Week reports that the contract could be worth as much as $30 million -- which easily qualifies as "multi-" in my book.

As for Oracle, the company announced today that nearly all of its database, application server, development, and decision support offerings will soon be available for downloading from its website.

Oracle said that the programs would be full-featured versions, good for a 60-day free trial. Accompanying documentation could also be downloaded free. Initially, SUN (Nasdaq: SUNW) Solaris and MICROSOFT (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows versions of the products will be available, with versions for other platforms expected to follow later.

Oracle also announced it is now shipping a Windows NT version of the Oracle Data Mart Suite. That product is aimed at corporate financial, sales, and marketing departments and helps them answer questions about such things as customer retention and churn, profitability, sales and marketing performance, and which new markets to enter.

Cost? A mere $39,500, according to the press release.

Or zippo, I suppose, if you download it from the website. But make yourself a snack first: it could take a while.

(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  -  1/8   27.88
BGP   -  3/8   21.50
CSL   +  1/4   30.75
CSCO  +1 3/8   68.63
GNT   -  1/4   34.00
ORCL  +  3/8   47.25
OXHP  +  1/2   65.50
PMSI  +  1/4   11.38
TDW   +  1/2   42.00
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.34%   9.29%   4.99%  20.81%
        S&P:     +0.32%   6.04%  14.71%  36.69%
        NASDAQ:  +1.40%  11.77%   9.15%  35.38%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
           400 Borders Gr    11.26     21.50    91.01%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     65.50    36.39%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     68.63    27.32%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     27.88    20.89%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     30.75    16.81%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.38    12.97%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     34.00    11.89%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     47.25    -2.88%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     42.00    -9.73%

    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   6550.00  $1747.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   6862.50  $1472.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   6150.00   $885.01
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4181.25   $722.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   6800.00   $722.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4550.00   $522.51
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   4725.00  -$139.99
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4200.00  -$452.49

                             CASH   $7788.54
                            TOTAL  $60407.29