Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, August 4, 1997
by Paul Larson (TMF Parlay)

CHICAGO, IL (August 4, 1997) -- Greetings from the Windy City!

Regular readers will note we've been having pinch hitters all week in this column because Greg is in the Aloha State. The islands are a great get-away (so I hear), but I've got to wonder about Greg's choice of timing. The weather here in Chicago is absolutely lovely today, and I assume it is no different two hundred miles east in the Bore-meister's hometown. I'd definitely like to go to Hawaii when the weather is not so perfect here, which is most of the year. I often dream about the islands on many a cold and windy night. But on days like today, you are likely to see me on my rollerblades cruising down to the park to sit under a tree and read. No better place to be than here... when the weather is nice!

Another one of my favorite summer indulgences is to go to the movies with friends to check out the latest offerings from Hollywood. In one of the movies I went to see recently, there was what I can only describe as a "Foolish Moment." Let me see if I can recreate it in words.

In the movie "Contact" there is an insanely wealthy character that is rather important to the story. His name is H.R. Hadden and he is the head of Hadden Industries, which is obviously some sort of highly successful computer and electronics firm. The character can best be described as a cross between Bill Gates and Howard Hughes with the money (and glasses) of the former and the eccentricity of the later. He also has a slightly evil and scary streak that makes him one of the more memorable business tycoon characters in recent memory.

In any case, Hadden's company underwrote a grant to search the skies for "little green men" that has finally hit paydirt. During the movie, Jodie Foster's character goes to visit Hadden at his house -- an airplane that rarely lands -- to speak about their situation. During this conversation Hadden says in a clear, succinct and highly dramatic voice a quote that any Fool will nod their bellied caps in agreement with. In Dolby THX I heard Hadden utter the words, "And when it comes to my investments, I always do my homework."

So there you have it; Foolishness has invaded Hollywood. I think the wisdom in the quote is obvious and I'll leave it for some other Fools to extol its virtues. Not only do I find the quote of some Foolish wisdom; I find it humorous that I would even think twice about something like this said in a movie. Not only has Foolishness invaded the movies, but it has also invaded my way of thinking about and perceiving the world -- a good thing indeed.

Enough about banter about boring stuff like the weather and the movies, let's take a peek at what's going on with the stocks in the bore-folio. I'm thinking Greg should have his buddy ole pal Parlay write his recap more often. I seem to have brought lady luck to the table today, as five of the stocks in the portfolio had point-plus rises. Even sleepy PRIME MEDICAL (Nasdaq: PMSI) was up $11/16, which is a significant percentage move.

It looks like there is a dandy of a little story developing out of Silicon Valley with Larry Ellison of ORACLE (Nasdaq: ORCL) saying that he will be joining the board of APPLE (Nasdaq: AAPL) in the near future. Apple and Steve Jobs are saying quite the opposite, however. Greg sent us a note in between sipping margaritas and dipping his toes in the Pacific that said to check out this article. More to come on the Ellison/Apple saga to be sure. Oh, did I mention Oracle was up $1 1/4 today?

Tomorrow is sure to be an interesting day as two members of the portfolio, OXFORD (Nasdaq: OXHP) and CISCO (Nasdaq: CSCO), both report quarterly earnings within the next 24 hours. My stat sheet shows that analysts are looking for $0.44 from Oxford and $0.55 from Cisco. Investors are obviously looking for good numbers from both companies as Oxford surfed forward $2 5/8 and Cisco also caught a wave to $81 11/16, up $1 7/8 on the day.

ATLAS (Nasdaq: ATLS) was also given a virtual thumbs up from Standard and Poor's today as they gave Atlas' senior notes a B- minus rating. Of even more interest, however, is the outlook of "positive" that S&P gave the company and the comments that went along with this outlook rating. Fools interested in reading this release in more detail can click here.

Well, that's all the bore that's fit to print for the day. Time to go dip my toes in Lake Michigan and enjoy this fine summer evening. May not be as nice as Maui, but hey, I'll take it. Fool on!

Happy 3rd Birthday to the Fool!

--Paul Larson, TMF Parlay

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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  +  5/16  26.44
BGP   -  7/16  24.38
CSL   +1 3/16  42.69
CSCO  +1 7/8   81.69
GNT   +1 1/16  46.69
ORCL  +1 1/4   56.13
OXHP  +2 5/8   85.75
PMSI  + 13/16  11.00
TDW   -  1/16  50.94
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +1.73%   0.39%  23.97%  42.66%
        S&P:     +0.33%  -0.42%  28.29%  52.87%
        NASDAQ:  +0.70%   0.73%  24.35%  54.23%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     24.38   116.55%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     85.75    78.55%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     42.69    62.16%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     46.69    53.64%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     81.69    51.55%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     56.13    15.37%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     26.44    14.66%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     50.94     9.48%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.00     9.25%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   9750.00  $5247.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   8575.00  $3772.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   8537.50  $3272.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   9337.50  $3260.01
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   8168.75  $2778.76
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   5612.50   $747.51
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3965.63   $506.89
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   5093.75   $441.26
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4400.00   $372.51

                             CASH   $7890.00
                            TOTAL  $71330.63