Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, June 10, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (June 10, 1997) -- Strength at the top of the batting order kept the Boring Portfolio in positive territory Tuesday despite losing issues outnumbering gainers two-to-one.

Altogether, the Borefolio added 0.12% to post a new high of $63,420 -- $7,780 of which sits in cash that will be put to more productive use soon. The Borefolio's showing compares with a 0.27% daily gain in the S&P 500 (to a new high) but a 0.73% decline in the Nasdaq. The Nazz was pulled down by weakness in chip, chip equipment, and networking stocks. And computer-makers. And some software issues.

Lead off hitter for the Boring nine, ATLAS AIR (Nasdaq: ATLS), knocked the first pitch out of the park, advancing $1 7/8. That follows yesterday's $3 3/4 game-winner after Atlas announced it would expand its fleet by purchasing ten new 747-400 freighter aircraft, with an option to purchase ten more.

Next up was BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP), which contributed a creditable $1/4 gain to the Boring cause. The stock may have been helped by an LJR Redbook report of a strong 2.3% increase in chain-store sales for the first week of June.

Batting third in the alphabetical order is CARLISLE COMPANIES (NYSE: CSL). Carlisle is the Borefolio's utility infielder, equally at home making roofing materials, tires and wheels, food storage and serving containers, or aircraft wiring. On Monday, Carlisle gained $7/8 on double the average trading volume for this quiet company. Today, the stock shot up $2, on more typical volume of 58,400 shares.

I can locate no news on Carlisle. At $33 3/8, CSL is trading at 15.8-times projected 1997 earnings of $2.11 per share, according to First Call's survey of analysts. The stock also pays a modest dividend of around 1.7%. Since Carlisle has grown EPS consistently at an annual rate exceeding 20% for the past five years and is expected to continue growing in the mid- to upper-teens for the forseeable future, the stock is a good-valued, unflashy keeper, in my opinion. (Which is why I recently acquired a few Carlisle shares myself.)

Clean-up hitter CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) had an off-day, however, losing $1 1/2. That loss was modest compared to the pastings that ASCEND (Nasdaq: ASND), CASCADE (Nasdaq: CSCC), XYLAN (Nasdaq: XYLN) and a number of other networkers suffered, however.

After the close of trading Monday, Cisco announced that it would acquire privately-held Skystone Systems Corp. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Skystone ( develops a family of semiconductor products for integrating advanced telecommunications functions into fiber-optic networks.

Early yesterday evening, it was reported that Cisco would take a one-time charge of between $0.08 and $0.11 per share in the current quarter in connection with the acquisition. That was later revised to a charge of between $0.08 and $0.13.

The balance of the Borefolio lineup all whiffed. GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT) shed a dollar. ORACLE (Nasdaq: ORCL) lost $1 7/16.

Yesterday, INFORMIX (Nasdaq: IFMX) announced that it had dropped its suit alleging that Oracle acquired trade secrets improperly when it hired an Oregon-based team of software geeks away from Informix. For its part, Oracle confirmed that its new flagship product, Oracle8, would ship on June 24.

OXFORD HEALTH PLANS (Nasdaq: OXHP) fell $3/4, while PRIME MEDICAL SERVICES (Nasdaq: PMSI) slipped $3/16 on the bid side. Trading volume for Prime exceeded 365,000 shares -- a typical week's worth of activity .

Finally, TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW) sank $5/8. For a while now, Tidewater has been in the #9 slot for the Borefolio in terms of performance as well as alphabetically. Is it time to trade the stock and pick up a hot young prospect? Or is the Ragin' Cajun's recent underperformance merely the sort of transitory slump that even champion hitters go through from time to time?

If you're so inclined, drop me an e-mail and let me know what you think, and why. Or post your opinion in the Tidewater folder (on AOL).

I'll let you know what I think tomorrow night -- based on my research and opinions I've gotten from folks who follow the oil services sector from a vantage point not far from the Houston Astrodome.

Fool Message Boards -- what are Fools saying?
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Daily Double
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The Fool Portfolio -- AOL, Iomega, 3Com... and more.
Fool Four -- Trying to catch the market.

(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 7/8   34.25
BGP   +  1/4   23.88
CSL   +2       33.38
CSCO  -1 1/2   64.94
GNT   -1       35.63
ORCL  -1 7/16  47.56
OXHP  -  3/4   71.94
PMSI  -  3/16  11.50
TDW   -  5/8   41.00
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.12%   3.94%  10.23%  26.84%
        S&P:     +0.27%   2.00%  16.81%  39.20%
        NASDAQ:  -0.73%   0.10%   8.57%  34.65%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     23.88   112.10%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     71.94    49.79%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     34.25    48.54%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     33.38    26.78%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     64.94    20.48%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     35.63    17.24%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.50    14.22%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     47.56    -2.24%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     41.00   -11.88%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   9550.00  $5047.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7193.75  $2391.26
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   5137.50  $1678.76
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   6675.00  $1410.01
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   6493.75  $1103.76
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7125.00  $1047.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4600.00   $572.51
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   4756.25  -$108.74
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4100.00  -$552.49

                             CASH   $7788.54
                            TOTAL  $63419.79