Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Wednesday, July 9, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (July 9, 1997) -- Several rounds of computerized profit-taking erased all of yesterday's gains for the Dow and most of those for the S&P 500 sending those averages lower by 1.51% and 1.22%, respectively. Trading volume on the NYSE approached 600 million shares -- heavy, man, heavy.

Strength in chip and networking stocks kept the Nasdaq in positive territory. The Nazz added 1.5 points to yesterday's 14-point gain to establish a new record at 1487. Nasdaq volume totaled a mammoth 718 million shares.

Winners outnumbered losers two to one in the Boring Portfolio, but the port suffered its second consecutive "teen-sy" loss nonetheless: -0.13%.

On Tuesday, OXFORD HEALTH (Nasdaq: OXHP) zipped up $4 1/8 on no news. Today, it zipped back down $3 (on the bid), also on no news.

Oil-sector stocks were generally down today, as the market reacted to reports from the American Petroleum Institute and the International Energy Agency in Paris (France, not Texas) that forecast plentiful supplies of crude oil for the remainder of 1997 despite strong demand in the U.S. and internationally. Oil analysts noted that Iraq's probable return to oil markets in the next month or so will add to supplies.

Not surprisingly, this news was no help to TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW) stock, which sank $1 1/16.

As noted here previously, the situation for oil services companies such as Tidewater is a bit more complicated than "Lower crude prices: bad; higher prices, good." As long as oil prices maintain a level sufficient to justify continued exploration and drilling, the services outfits will do just fine.

In a Reuters story today, for example, Oppenheimer analyst Carol Lau said that her company expects "strong earnings from our offshore drilling universe to continue and believe at current prices, the valuations in the group are compelling."

In her opinion, peak earnings for the sector are still perhaps three years away.

And as drilling activity and dayrates go, so goes marine services activity and rates for Tidewater.

Some folks have suggested that we check out trucking stocks as a kind of hedge against dramatically lower oil prices. Hey, I like trucks.

Oil stocks weren't the only weak group today, stocks of financial services companies -- and indeed the financial sector generally -- fell pretty much across the board, and that despite a yield on the long bond that continued to slip toward 6.50%. An early warning from WELLS FARGO (NYSE: WFC) certainly did nothing to set a positive tone.

In any event, shares of GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT) dropped $1 3/4. Financial stocks sneeze, and Green Tree's leaves get blown off.

Interestingly (to me, anyway), analysts had nice things to say about a handful of manufactured home producers and MH community REITS today. Solomon Brothers raised CLAYTON HOMES (NYSE: CMH) from a "hold" to a "buy" and initiated coverage of OAKWOOD HOMES (NYSE: OH) with a "buy." Meantime, folks at PaineWebber pinned an "attractive" rating on SUN COMMUNITIES (NYSE: SUI), MANUFACTURED HOME COMMUNITIES (NYSE: MHC), and CHATEAU COMMUNITIES (NYSE: CPJ).

On the upside -- which, as noted above, is where most Borefolio stocks could be found -- BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP) gained $1/2, presumably helped by favorable industry news on retail sales. CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) surfed along with a strong networking group to established a new high at $76 1/4. And PRIME MEDICAL SERVICES (Nasdaq: PMSI) rose $1/2 on double the stock's average trading volume.

ORACLE (Nasdaq: ORCL) gained $5/8. CARLISLE (NYSE: CSL) picked up its usual quiet $1/8. Even ATLAS AIR (Nasdaq: ATLS) joined in, ascending $1/4.

Fool Message Boards -- what are Fools saying?
Evening News -- Big movers, up and down.
Daily Double
-- How can you find the next double?
Daily Trouble -- Is there value in this beaten down stock?
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  +  1/4   26.25
BGP   +  1/2   25.00
CSL   +  1/16  35.31
CSCO  +1 9/16  76.25
GNT   -1 3/4   35.25
ORCL  +  5/8   51.50
OXHP  -3       77.25
PMSI  +  1/2   11.50
TDW   -1 1/16  44.88
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -0.13%   1.69%  13.71%  30.85%
        S&P:     -1.22%   2.53%  22.52%  46.00%
        NASDAQ:  +0.10%   3.09%  15.15%  42.81%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     25.00   122.10%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     77.25    60.85%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     76.25    41.47%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     35.31    34.14%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     35.25    16.00%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.50    14.22%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     26.25    13.84%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     51.50     5.86%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     44.88    -3.55%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  10000.00  $5497.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7725.00  $2922.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   7625.00  $2235.01
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   7062.50  $1797.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7050.00   $972.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4600.00   $572.51
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3937.50   $478.76
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   5150.00   $285.01
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4487.50  -$164.99

                             CASH   $7788.54
                            TOTAL  $65426.04