Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, January 28, 1997
by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Jan. 28) -- After being up 100 points earlier in the day, the Dow finished Tuesday off 5. A favorable report on U.S. employment costs helped ignite the short-lived rally. Strong early gains in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes disappeared, as well, although the Nasdaq managed a nominal gain of less than 2 points. The S&P 500 ended the day exactly where it began.

A number of Boring holdings were also up sharply during the session only to fizzle later on. Among them were shares of Tidewater (NYSE: TDW) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), both of which lost $5/8. On the other hand, five Boring stocks rose, while Prime Medical Services (Nasdaq: PMSI) remained unchanged at $ 11 1/2. Altogether, the Borefolio gained 0.24% in value.

The Boring technology stocks have hogged the bulk of Boring recaps lately, so let's give a bit of space to some of the quieter holdings tonight.

Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) and arch-rival Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) were in the news today. B&N announced that it had reached an agreement with America Online under which B&N will become AOL's exclusive bookseller. To date, the two giants have mostly ceded the online market for books to others, most notably Seattle-base Amazon.com Inc. For its part, Borders, confirmed they after a trial period they are [finally!] readying their own online bookstore. Borders also announced plans to open non-virtual bookstores in Geneva, Illinois, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Mishawaka, Indiana, and Sacramento, California, during the year. BGP gained $ 5/8 today.

Prime Medical Services announced today that it had upped its stake in another lithotripter business -- the tenth such announcement since November. In this latest episode, Prime acquired an additional 23% interest in Texas Lithotripsy, LP III, bringing its total share of the partnership. to 56%. Prime said it paid $1.4 million for the acquisition, which was effective Jan. 1. In the press release, company president Dr. Joseph Jenkins, stated that Prime is "actively pursuing acquisitions of other lithotripter operations in strategic areas of the country and investigating opportunities to provide additional services to our network of over 1,900 urologists."

Finally tonight, Green Tree Financial (NYSE: GNT) reported that a shareholder derivative lawsuit has been filed against the company and its board of directors by two Illinois-based plaintiffs. The suit seeks to reduce the compensation paid to Green Tree chairman and CEO Larry Coss for the years 1994-1996.

The company replied in a press release that "the predominate amount of its chairman's compensation for 1994-1996 is in the form of stock issued pursuant to the 1988 Key Executive Stock Bonus Plan," a plan that was approved by shareholders. Green Tree went on to note that the plan "has an annual limitation as to the number of shares which may be awarded, and this annual limitation has never been exceeded." Finally, the company pointed out that, in the time since the 1988 plan went into effect, "the price of Green Tree stock has appreciated 1,940 percent," and "since the date of the 1991 employment agreement with Mr. Coss, Green Tree stock has appreciated 1,200 percent."

The Borefolio hasn’t had the pleasure yet of experiencing quite that kind of growth from Green Tree, but we did enjoy market-beating performance from the stock in 1996, and analysts are projecting the company’s earnings to increase by more than one-third in 1997, to around $3.00 per share. By the way, Mr. Coss and Green Tree’s board negotiated a compensation plan that calls for dramatically reduced bonuses in 1997 and beyond.

Today's Numbers


Stock  Change    Bid
--------------------
BGP   -  3/4   36.63
CSL   ---      31.13
CSCO  -  3/8   68.25
GNT   -  7/8   38.25
ORCL  -1 1/2   38.13
OXHP  -  1/4   51.63
PMSI  -  1/4   11.50
SLR   +  1/8   60.00
TDW   -  1/8   48.13
                  Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -1.08%   1.52%   1.52%  16.82%
        S&P 500  -0.71%   3.28%   3.28%  23.07%
        NASDAQ:  -0.81%   4.79%   4.79%  29.96%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change

  2/28/96  200 Borders Gr    22.51     36.63    62.69%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     68.25    26.62%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     38.25    25.87%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     31.13    18.23%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     11.50    14.22%
 10/15/96  100 Solectron     54.52     60.00    10.04%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     51.63     7.50%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     48.13     3.44%
 11/21/96  100 Oracle Cor    48.65     38.13   -21.63%
Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 2/28/96 200 Borders Gr 4502.49 7325.00 $2822.51 2/2/96 200 Green Tree 6077.49 7650.00 $1572.51 6/26/96 100 Cisco Syst 5389.99 6825.00 $1435.01 8/13/96 200 Carlisle C 5264.99 6225.00 $960.01 3/8/96 400 Prime Medi 4027.49 4600.00 $572.51 10/15/96 100 Solectron 5452.49 6000.00 $547.51 5/24/96 100 Oxford Hea 4802.49 5162.50 $360.01 12/23/96 100 Tidewater 4652.49 4812.50 $160.01 11/21/96 100 Oracle Cor 4864.99 3812.50 -$1052.49 CASH $5999.08 TOTAL $58411.58