Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, August 18, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (August 18, 1997) -- Benchmark stock indices soared in the final hour of trading after being lower for most of the day. The Dow, down nearly 80 points near mid-day, finished up 109 (1.41%). Apparently, Six Flags is not the only place one can go for a roller coaster ride in August.

The S&P 500 recovered half of Friday's 24-point selloff to rise 1.30%, while the Nasdaq advanced 0.48%.

The Boring Portfolio, being a broadly diversified mix of small, medium and large capitalization stocks -- both NYSE and Nasdaq issues -- finished somewhere in between for the day: up 0.74%. Six holdings rose, while three declined.

Among the winners was ORACLE CORP (Nasdaq: ORCL), up $1 1/4 to $38 7/16 as the stock's 3-for-2 split took effect today. Where the Borefolio once had 100 shares of Oracle, it now has 150. Of course the stock price also adjusts accordingly, so the split has no more effect on the underlying value of the stock than changing a $20 bill for two $10s has on the value of your wallet. (Or purse, backpack, sporran, or sock, for that matter -- depending upon where you stow your cash.)

That said, a stock split appears to excite a fair number of shareholders -- hence the magical near-term positive impact that a split -- or the announcement of one -- has upon the price. In the case of thinly traded, illiquid stocks, a split can facilitate trading somewhat, thereby reducing spreads and transaction costs a bit. But with almost one billion shares of ORCL outstanding, liquidity is hardly a concern.

The next Borefolio stock likely to split could be either OXFORD HEALTH PLANS (Nasdaq: OXHP), up $3/4 to $76, or CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO), up $1 1/8 to -- shazam! -- $76, also.

PRIME MEDICAL SERVICES (Nasdaq: PMSI) is still some distance from a stock split. PMSI headed in the right direction today, though. The stock gained $1/4, to $10 7/8 bid, after the company announced the formation of its first partnership for Prostatron treatment of benign prostate enlargement.

Prime owns a 27% interest in North Carolina Prostatherapy, LP and will manage the limited partnership made up of 49 urologists. The partnership expects to begin offering services in October. Prime anticipates two additional Prostatron partnerships to be operational this year, in southern and northern California.

Cool.

Well, warm, actually -- since the treatment uses microwave energy for thermotherapy. ("Nuking" prostates? Ewww.)

If you care to know more about Prostatrons and such, it should be evident by now that you'd do best not to direct your questions to me. The Borefolio's co-manager, Mark Weaver is an MD, however -- a one who specializes in innards like prostates, no less. So maybe Mark (MWEAV@aol.com) can help out. With an answer to your email, I mean.

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TODAY'S NUMBERS
Stock  Change    Bid
ATLS  +  1/4   27.13
BGP   -  1/16  22.31
CSL   -  1/8   42.44
CSCO  +1 1/8   76.00
GNT   +  9/16  43.69
ORCL  +1 1/4  38.44
OXHP  +  3/4   76.00
PMSI  +  1/4   10.88
TDW   -  3/4   48.94
                  Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.74%  -3.85%  18.74%  36.64%
        S&P:     +1.30%  -4.38%  23.19%  46.79%
        NASDAQ:  +0.48%  -1.52%  21.57%  50.78%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     22.31    98.22%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     42.44    61.21%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     76.00    58.25%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     43.69    43.77%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     76.00    41.00%
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor    32.43     38.44    18.51%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     27.13    17.64%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     10.88     8.01%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     48.94     5.19%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   8925.00  $4422.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   8487.50  $3222.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7600.00  $2797.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   8737.50  $2660.01
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   7600.00  $2210.01
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor  4864.99   5765.63   $900.64
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4068.75   $610.01
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4350.00   $322.51
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4893.75   $241.26

                             CASH   $7890.00
                            TOTAL  $68318.13