Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Wednesday, June 4, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

BOSTON, Mass. (June 4, 1997) -- The Boring Portfolio lost a third of a percentage point Wednesday, suffering its first back-to-back declines in more than a month. Losing holdings outnumbered gainers five to four.

I suppose there's some consolation in the fact that the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq Composite all fell more, in percentage terms.

Well, perhaps there isn't.

Trading volume in the majority of Boring stocks was unusually muted, with a number of issues, such as ATLAS AIR (Nasdaq: ATLS) and GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT), seeing only about a quarter of the activity of a typical trading day. Overall market action was also subdued as traders stood pat ahead of Friday morning's May unemployment report.

Three Boring stocks did experience above-average trading activity, however, and all three were winners: CARLISLE COMPANIES (NYSE: CSL), OXFORD HEALTH PLANS (Nasdaq: OXHP), and PRIME MEDICAL SERVICES (Nasdaq: PMSI). I found no specific news on any members of that trio. I infer that continuing news about details of the compromise Medicare proposal -- particularly the emphasis it places on encouraging seniors to migrate into HMOs and other managed care plans -- is buoying healthcare stocks.

With today's $1 7/16 advance to a bid of $74, OXHP is trading at 40-times estimated 1997 earnings of $1.83 per share. There's no denying that's a lofty multiple. On the other hand, even before the recent news from Washington on Medicare, Oxford was expected to grow EPS by 48% this year and by 35 to 40 percent annually into the next millennium.

Rounding out Wednesday's Borefolio winners was ORACLE CORP (Nasdaq: ORCL), which rose $3/16 despite a generally sluggish day for tech stocks. Ted Turner, vice chair of CNN parent company TIME WARNER (NYSE: TWX) and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced today that the two companies were collaborating in the launch of a new Website, called CNN Custom News.

The announcement came at the Spring Comdex show in Atlanta. Rumors that the stage had to be specially reinforced to withstand the weight of the twin towers of ego could not be verified.

The new Web site will reportedly allow users to build their own CNN home page by selecting the news, stock, weather and sports information that interest them. Users will also be able to search for and view text, pictures, and video of CNN stories, thanks to Oracle's Web Application Server, universal data server, and ConText search engine.

On the downside, CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) slipped $5/8 to $64 1/16. (Note how prices quoted in sixteenths have made their appearance on Nasdaq.)

Cisco CEO John Chambers appeared this morning at a PaineWebber technology conference in New York and reportedly gave the standard stump speech that Cisco-watchers have pretty much committed to memory by now. In keeping with the Borefolio's tradition of providing "Cisco Summaries for Short Attention Spans," highlights of Chambers's presentation are provided herewith:

"Very bullish" on networking industry... overall growth continue in 30% to 50% range annually... but may "spike" up, down... Internet... dog years... moves fast... industry continue to consolidate... partner... acquire... important to Cisco... cost of ownership... focus... like Microsoft... and Intel... global business... good growth in Americas... cautiously optimistic on Germany, Japan... 26% of Cisco orders through its Website... could be 40% to 45% over next year... Network commerce... good business.

Man, I'll say.

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(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  -  1/2   28.13
BGP   -  3/8   23.25
CSL   +  1/8   30.50
CSCO  -  5/8   64.06
GNT   -  1/2   35.38
ORCL  +  3/16  46.69
OXHP  +1 7/16  74.00
PMSI  +  1/4   11.63
TDW   -1       43.25
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -0.32%   1.51%   7.64%  23.86%
        S&P:     -0.64%  -0.96%  13.41%  35.15%
        NASDAQ:  -0.38%  -1.47%   6.87%  32.54%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     23.25   106.55%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     74.00    54.09%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     28.13    21.97%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     64.06    18.85%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     35.38    16.41%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     30.50    15.86%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.63    15.46%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     46.69    -4.03%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     43.25    -7.04%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   9300.00  $4797.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7400.00  $2597.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   6406.25  $1016.26
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7075.00   $997.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   6100.00   $835.01
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4218.75   $760.01
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4650.00   $622.51
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   4668.75  -$196.24
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4325.00  -$327.49

                             CASH   $7788.54
                            TOTAL  $61932.29