Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, July 1, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (July 1, 1997) -- The Dow and S&P 500 each gained two-thirds of a percentage point on this first day of the new quarter, but the Nasdaq fell 4 points (-0.26%).

The Boring Portfolio lost ground, as well, despite winning holdings outnumbering losers by five to four. A late-session drop of $1 3/4 in shares of the Borefolio's largest holding, BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP), accounted for the majority of today's 0.74% loss.

I saw no news that might account for the drop. The only item about Borders on the wires was an announcement of the company's plans to open a new superstore later this year in Plantation, Fla. Trading volume of 231,000 BGP shares was not particularly remarkable, either. So I'll just chalk today up to a bit of "profit-taking."

By the way, analysts' forecasts for Borders Group are unchanged from last week, according to fresh numbers from First Call. The consensus remains that the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based bookseller will earn $0.92 per share this year, which would constitute a 31% advance over 1996. Looking further ahead, both the company and the analysts who follow it project earnings growth in the range of 25% to 30% through the millennium.

Borders stock closed today at $22 3/8, which works out to approximately 24 times this year's earnings and less than 20 times projected EPS of $1.14 or so for next year. That looks just peachy to me.

Stocks of oil services companies continued to firm today, including those of TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW). TDW rose $13/16 in above-average trading activity to close at $44 13/16. A coupla more days like this and Tidewater will be back at sea level for the Borefolio.

CISCO SYSTEMS (CSCO) gained $1 3/16. Cisco, the stock, was listed today among Smith Barney's 15 "Exceptional Names" for the coming 12 months. Cisco, the company, announced availability of a new Route Switch Module for its high-end Catalyst 5000 switch series.

The new module, which lists for $20,000 (actually, $19,995 -- as if they were selling these things in Walmart) brings multiprotocol Layer 3 capabilities to the switch. In English (sort of), this means that with the new module, the Catalyst devices can perform both switching (Layer 2) and routing (Layer 3) functions, thereby enabling networks to benefit from the sheer speed of pedal-to-the-metal switching while retaining higher-level intelligent routing capabilities for security, network resiliency, and quality of service. Both a breath mint and a candy mint.

GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT) grew $11/16 to close at $36 5/16. Financial stocks were strong today, as bond yields declined and the Fed opened its two-day July meeting -- a meeting that virtually no one expects will result in any change in lending rates.

OXFORD HEALTH (Nasdaq: OXHP) was up, as well -- by $2 5/8 to a bid of $74 3/8, to be precise.

Last week, Oxford opened a new healthcare facility in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. That follows by a year the company's opening of a similar center in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx.

In a press release, Oxford said it selected the Brownsville location because the area has only 13 primary care physicians serving nearly 246,000 residents -- a ratio of one primary care physician for every 18,923 residents.

The new center will staff approximately 25 Oxford employees and will serve all Oxford members including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial accounts "at a beautiful facility within minutes from their homes," said Bob Smoler, CEO of Oxford, New York. "Oxford members who join this facility will see the same doctor every visit and enjoy the same high quality healthcare experience as members in our other service areas."

Oxford expects to open a third Center in Jamaica, Queens later this fall.

Did the stock rise because of this news? Doubtful.

But the news is yet another illustration of the kind of thinking -- and action -- that has put Oxford Health miles ahead of the nearest competitor.

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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 1/4   33.25
BGP   -1 3/4   22.38
CSL   +  3/4   35.63
CSCO  +1 3/16  68.31
GNT   + 11/16  36.31
ORCL  -113/16  48.50
OXHP  +2 5/8   74.38
PMSI  -  3/8   10.38
TDW   + 13/16  44.81
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -0.73%  -0.74%  11.00%  27.73%
        S&P:     +0.66%   0.66%  20.29%  43.34%
        NASDAQ:  -0.26%  -0.26%  11.40%  38.17%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     22.38    98.78%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     74.38    54.87%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     33.25    44.20%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     35.63    35.33%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     68.31    26.74%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     36.31    19.50%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     10.38     3.04%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     48.50    -0.31%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     44.81    -3.68%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   8950.00  $4447.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7437.50  $2635.01
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   7125.00  $1860.01
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4987.50  $1528.76
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   6831.25  $1441.26
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7262.50  $1185.01
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4150.00   $122.51
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   4850.00   -$14.99
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4481.25  -$171.24

                             CASH   $7788.54
                            TOTAL  $63863.54