Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Friday, January 10, 1997
by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Jan. 10) -- Except for a few shivers this morning, the market pretty much shrugged off the kind of robust monthly jobs and wages report that in past months has instigated triple-digit drops. For what it's worth, my opinion is that the market made the right move.

The Dow ended Friday's session sharply higher. The S&P rose 0.61%, while the Nasdaq added 0.41%. As for the Boring Portfolio, it posted a decent 0.56% gain in net asset value for the day. Seven stocks advanced, while only one declined, and one held steady. For the week, our two benchmarks -- the S&P and the Nasdaq -- gained 1.52% and 1.62%, respectively. The comparable figure for the Borefolio: 1.42%.

Full disclosure: You see those numbers in the preceding paragraph? Well, I don't -- or at least not yet. The fact of the matter is, I'll be heading off the airport as the market closes, so it's up to Fool HQ to fill in the blanks before it rains this report into the ether.

Actually, I'm on my way to Fool HQ, to take part in high-level strategic planning sessions there. Yeah, right. I'll leave it to you to imagine what a Foolish planning meeting looks like. All I know is they promised there'd be food. At the moment, I'm tapping away on the keyboard with one hand as I stuff laptop, toothbrush, and a fresh change of shorts and socks into my backpack with the other (at least I hope its "socks" and not "sock," like last time). You'll thus understand, I hope, if we dispense with the chit-chat and move straight to a rip through news and notes on Boring stocks:

BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP). Robinson-Humphrey analyst David Magee raised his 1996 earnings estimate for Borders Group to $1.33 a share, from $1.30. This followed the company's announcement Thursday that it expects its 1996 EPS to exceed the consensus of analysts estimates of $1.29. Borders Group reported sales for its fiscal fourth quarter-to-date rose 13.8% to $617.7 million.

CARLISLE (NYSE: CSL). Shares of Carlisle Companies should begin trading at their new 2-for-1 split-adjusted price next week. CSL closed today at $60 1/8.

GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT). According to year-end numbers compiled by "Inside MBS & ABS" (a weekly newsletter about mortgage-backed and asset-basked securities), the asset-backed securities market posted record volume in 1996. To quote the report, "Throughout 1996, ABS activity -- driven by seemingly insatiable investor demand -- remained extremely strong with new production averaging $14 billion a month." For the year, ABS production totaled $167.13 billion, a 43% increase over 1995. With $8.36 billion in transactions, Green Tree Financial moved up to third place in the 1996 rankings, from the fifth spot one year earlier.

ORACLE (Nasdaq: ORCL). Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been named the San Francisco Business Times' Executive of the Year for 1996. According to the press release, Ellison was selected for his efforts in popularizing the concept of a "network computer." Less glitzy, but perhaps more meaningfully, Oracle has joined Hewlett-Packard in an effort to develop a new computing architecture based on new processors being designed by HP and Intel. The new architecture is designed to run both the Unix operating system and Microsoft's Windows NT. Rich Sevcik, VP and general manager of HP's System Technology Group, told Reuters that HP and Oracle technologies operating on the new 64-bit system are expected to be an order of magnitude more than the current top-end machines. Systems based on the new high-end processors, codenamed "Merced," are expected to begin production two years from now.The plan is to make it relatively easy for customers to migrate to the new systems by introducing, well ahead of the Merced introduction, software compatible with the new systems.

OXFORD HEALTH PLANS (Nasdaq: OXHP). UBS Securities analyst Christine Bennis initiated coverage of Oxford Health Plans with a "buy" rating and reportedly a 12-month price target of $84. On Thursday, Oxford said it is comfortable with analysts' EPS estimates of $1.75 to $1.80 for 1997 and a goal of increasing membership to 2 million by end of the year. Also, Jay Silverstein, OXHP's VP for Marketing, stated that New York's new hospital deregulation law would not have any effect on OXHP's margin.

TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW). Rising oil and gas prices continue to fuel oil-patch stocks, including Tidewater. The stock finished today at $49 1/2. Tidewater is expected to report quarterly earnings sometime around January 20.

That's it from here. Gotta run.

Have a great weekend, folks!

Today's Numbers

Stock  Change    Bid
BGP   +  1/8   37.00
CSL   +  1/4   60.13
CSCO  +1 5/8   68.50
GNT   +  1/8   36.88
ORCL  -1       40.75
OXHP  +  1/2   57.63
PMSI  ---      12.13
SLR   +1 1/8   55.50
TDW   +  1/4   49.50
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.56%   2.24%   2.24%  17.65%
        S&P 500  +0.61%   2.52%   2.52%  22.17%
        NASDAQ:  +0.44%   3.17%   3.17%  27.96%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change

  2/28/96  200 Borders Gr    22.51     37.00    64.35%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     68.50    27.09%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     36.88    21.35%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     12.13    20.42%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     57.63    19.99%
  8/13/96  100 Carlisle C    52.65     60.13    14.20%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     49.50     6.39%
 10/15/96  100 Solectron     54.52     55.50     1.79%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     40.75   -16.24%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change

  2/28/96  200 Borders Gr  4502.49   7400.00  $2897.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   6850.00  $1460.01
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   7375.00  $1297.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   5762.50   $960.01
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4850.00   $822.51
  8/13/96  100 Carlisle C  5264.99   6012.50   $747.51
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4950.00   $297.51
 10/15/96  100 Solectron   5452.49   5550.00    $97.51
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor  4864.99   4075.00  -$789.99

                             CASH   $5999.08
                            TOTAL  $58824.08