Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, June 24, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (June 24, 1997) -- The Dow and S&P 500 recovered most of Monday's losses, rising 2.02% each. The Nasdaq recouped yesterday's 0.88% loss and then some, gaining 1.26%.

The rebound in stocks occurred after aides to Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said that the Prime Minister's remarks at a Columbia University luncheon had been "misinterpreted" and that Japan had no intention of disrupting markets by selling off its U.S. Treasuries.

For its part, the Boring Portfolio rose 0.82% to just under $65,000. Seven Boring stocks advanced while two declined.

The big Borefolio event on Tuesday was ORACLE'S (Nasdaq: ORCL) unveiling of Oracle8 amidst $2.4 million in hoopla at Radio City Music Hall and a full-scale media blitz. I stopped counting after a news search this afternoon produced more than 90 Oracle-related stories. But if you want to wallow in the glory of it all, hop over to Oracle's website and knock yourself out.

One of the items I paused to read was an announcement that, in answer to "a national call to action issued by General Colin L. Powell, President Bill Clinton, and former President George Bush at the President's Summit for America's Future in Philadelphia," Oracle Corp. and its Chairman and CEO, Larry Ellison, have committed $100 million to endow the Oracle's Promise Foundation, "with the guiding mission of placing a network computer on every child's desk in grades K-12 in the United States."

In addition, Oracle will partner with the National Mentoring Coalition "to mobilize Oracle's U.S. employee volunteers to develop mentoring relationships with economically disadvantaged youth grades 4-12 by the year 2000."

Lest I appear ungrateful for these generous offering to the youth of America, I won't ask what exactly every child in grades K-12 will do with a network computer on his or her desk unless that NC is wired into a whole bunch of expensive gear that most schools do not have.

Oh yeah, Oracle stock went up $1 7/8 on the bid, to $50 1/8.

I notice that CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) was credited with handling the internetworking of "more than 250 network computers, workstations, PCs, kiosks and database servers" in connection with the Oracle8 demo at Radio City Music Hall. The network reportedly utilized four of Cisco's high-end LAN switches: two Catalyst 5000s and two Catalyst 5500s.

Cisco was also selected by AT&T (NYSE: T) to provide networking equipment and services in support of the G-7 meetings being held in Denver. Possibly the Japanese contingent made use of those Cisco-supported e-mail capabilities yesterday in figuring out how to untangle the snarl created by Minister Hashimoto's remarks.

By the way, Cisco announced two acquisitions today. Cisco signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Ardent Communications for $156 million in Cisco stock. The Kid will also buy Global Internet Software Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Internet.Com, for a bit more than $40 million in cash.

Cisco said it expects a one-time charge against after-tax earnings of $0.23 per share in the current quarter in connection with the Ardent deal and a charge of between $0.02 and $0.03 per share for the Global Internet buy.

According to press releases, Global Internet Software specializes in security solutions for MICROSOFT (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows NT Networks, while San Jose-based Ardent, in which Cisco said it previously held a minority stake, "is a pioneer in designing combined communications support for compressed voice, LAN, data and video traffic across public and private Frame Relay and ATM networks."

Cisco shares rose $15/16 to a bid of $70 11/16.

Yesterday, I noted that Dillon Read initiated coverage of TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW) with an "outperform" rating and that the offshore energy services company was featured in James K. Glassman's column in the Sunday issue of The Washington Post. A careful reader informed me that I overlooked that Merrill Lynch raised its earnings estimates for Tidewater: to $3.50 from $3.30 for the current fiscal year (ends March 1998) and to $4.15 from $3.85 for next fiscal year.

Merrill's $3.50 forecast is at the high end of the range of analysts' estimates as reported by First Call (consensus is $3.34). As for next year, First Call shows $4.07 as the consensus estimate, but the range spans from $3.60 to $4.30.

Shares of Tidewater rose $3/8 to close at $43 7/8. Trading in the issue was unusually heavy ahead of tomorrow's OPEC meetings in Vienna.

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Stock  Change    Bid
ATLS  -  3/8   32.50
BGP   -  3/16  23.56
CSL   +  1/2   36.63
CSCO  + 15/16  70.69
GNT   +  7/8   36.88
ORCL  +1 7/8   50.13
OXHP  +  3/16  73.31
PMSI  +  1/8   11.00
TDW   +  3/8   43.88
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.82%   6.51%  12.95%  29.98%
        S&P:     +2.02%   5.67%  21.01%  44.20%
        NASDAQ:  +1.26%   3.72%  12.50%  39.53%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     23.56   109.33%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     73.31    52.66%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     32.50    40.95%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     36.63    39.13%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     70.69    31.15%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     36.88    21.35%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.00     9.25%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     50.13     3.03%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     43.88    -5.70%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   9425.00  $4922.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7331.25  $2528.76
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   7325.00  $2060.01
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   7068.75  $1678.76
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4875.00  $1416.26
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7375.00  $1297.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4400.00   $372.51
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   5012.50   $147.51
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4387.50  -$264.99

                             CASH   $7788.54
                            TOTAL  $64988.54