Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, January 6, 1997
by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Jan. 6) -- It was another day at the NYSE amusement park on Monday. First, the Dow roller coaster click ... click ... clicked 75 points into the air, to a breath-taking height of 6619. And then -- whee-e-e-e! -- zoomed all the way back to the ground before -- oo-o-ohh! -- giving riders a last zip up again at the end. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.

The Dow finished the session up 23 points, closing at 6567. Another day, another record -- and fueled by better than a half-billion shares of Big Board volume. The Nasdaq rose 5.7 (+0.43%) on equally impressive trading volume to establish a new high of its own: 1316.40. Not so for the S&P 500, however. That benchmark closed fractionally lower (-0.05%), after being up for most of the day.

The Boring Portfolio had a decent day, gaining 0.28%. Six holdings rose -- including a $2 surge in Tidewater -- and three declined.

The Boring "tech" sector was hot on Monday. Cisco and Solectron were sharply higher, and Oracle gained two-bits.

Alex. Brown added Cisco to its "focus" list. The company has also been featured in a raft of stories in which gooroos offer their predictions for the year ahead. One such story appeared in today's edition of Investor's Business Daily, for example. Meantime in the current Business Week, Cisco CEO John Chambers made the magazine's list of "Top Managers of 1996."

Heck, even Cisco's Website made a "Top Ten" list. PC Week praised Cisco Connection (, "which lets Cisco's legion of customers configure and order any of the 12,600 Cisco products through the site. Users of Cisco routers need little convincing about the virtues of the Internet, which explains why the router giant expects to do $650 million worth of business through this site in 1997."

Cisco figured in another story today, as well. According to a piece appearing in today's online edition of Electronic Engineering Times (, "Severe Internet congestion and slowdowns may be a result of inherent flaws in the backbone of the Net -- network routers manufactured by Cisco Systems, the dominant router manufacturer."

The story goes on to describe recurring 30-second periodicities in routing instabilities that, according to a report presented to the North American Network Operators Group (Nanog), may be attributable to bugs in Cisco's IOS router software.

The story also quotes Cisco senior engineer Fred Baker as saying that "there was a problem with Cisco's code on the number of withdraws, and we put code in to fix that. It's up to the user now to upgrade and put in the fix."

I called Cisco today and Adam Stein, a spokesperson for the company, informed me that the company continuously updates and upgrades Cisco IOS software and that the changes are available at Cisco's Website (yup, the award-winning one) for downloading. He even passed along a few URLs to illustrate his point. So if you're interested, drop on over to:

These sites are recent examples of advice Cisco offered to Internet Service Providers last year about how to fend off hacker "flood attacks" on routers, which had all but disabled routing at a few sites around the country.

Turning quickly to another Borefolio stock, a few folks e-mailed me late today in regard to a press release from HealthShare Technology, Inc. That company was announcing that Oxford Health Plans had signed a contract for some of HealthShare's software. What caught the careful eye of some fellow Fools was that the press release mentioned that Oxford had "2.5 million members."

"Had Oxford added another one million members overnight?" they wanted to know.

Uh, not exactly. Turns out is was just a typo. Oxford has "only" 1.5 million members.

One last thing: Happy 14th birthday, Jamie Markus.

Today's Numbers

Stock  Change    Bid
BGP   -  1/8   34.63
CSL   +  7/8   60.88
CSCO  +1 7/8   67.38
GNT   -  3/4   36.75
ORCL  +  1/4   44.75
OXHP  +  1/4   59.25
PMSI  -  7/8   11.50
SLR   +1 5/8   54.25
TDW  +  2      46.38
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.28%   1.09%   1.09%  16.32%
        S&P 500  -0.05%   0.93%   0.93%  20.27%
        NASDAQ   +0.43%   1.97%   1.97%  26.46%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change

  2/28/96  200 Borders Gr    22.51     34.63    53.80%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     67.38    25.00%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     59.25    23.37%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     36.75    20.94%
  8/13/96  100 Carlisle C    52.65     60.88    15.62%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.50    14.22%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     46.38    -0.32%
 10/15/96  100 Solectron     54.52     54.25    -0.50%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     44.75    -8.02%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change

  2/28/96  200 Borders Gr  4502.49   6925.00  $2422.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   6737.50  $1347.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7350.00  $1272.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   5925.00  $1122.51
  8/13/96  100 Carlisle C  5264.99   6087.50   $822.51
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4600.00   $572.51
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4637.50   -$14.99
 10/15/96  100 Solectron   5452.49   5425.00   -$27.49
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   4475.00  -$389.99

                             CASH   $5999.08
                            TOTAL  $58161.58

Transmitted: 1/6/97