Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, August 26, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (August 26, 1997) -- Aout (written with a little hat over the "u") is French for August. It's pronounced "oot" -- as in "let's get oot of here," which is what the French do for pretty much the entire month: closing up shop, enjoying the outdoors, and not worrying about... well, about anything, really.

With just three trading days left for this month to redeem itself, it's looking like the U.S. equities markets generally, and the Borefolio in particular, would have done themselves a world of good by following the example of the French. Next August, I'll give serious consideration to forgetting about stocks for the month and tuning back in sometime after Labor Day.

The S&P 500 is down more than 4% for the month of Aout to date. The Borefolio's down about half that amount. And with today's lackluster performance the Nasdaq has slipped into the loss column for the month, as well.

TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW) did its best to buoy the Borefolio, adding $1 3/16 to Monday's $1 advance. Stocks of offshore drilling and service companies may have been helped by news that

a record number of bids has been submitted for Wednesday's auction of exploration leases in the western Gulf of Mexico.

An agency of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior is conducting the auction, which was last held in September for this region of the Gulf. Being offered are leases for exploration in more than 25 million acres off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. The strong bidding interest suggests that the offshore energy industry is still trending upward, but clearer indications will come when the results of the auction are announced tomorrow morning. That will take place in New Orleans, not far from Tidewater HQ.

Among Borefolio losers was PRIME MEDICAL SERVICES (Nasdaq: PMSI). Prime shed $1/4 to close at a bid of $10 3/4. Trading volume was slightly above average, which is notable only because activity on most other issues was well below the norm.

Some traders may have sold PMSI following news that UROLOGIX (Nasdaq: ULGX) had received FDA approval of its microwave energy device for treating benign prostate hyperplasia BPH). Urologix stock soared on the news.

Prime Medical is currently developing mobile routes to offer treatment for BPH with a competing device, the Prostatron manufactured by French company EDAP Technomed.

Urologix said in a press release today that they are accelerating their plan to offer their Targis system to urologists nationwide. Although on the surface this news may appear to challenge Prime's strategy, the reality is that both Prime and the urology community have followed the progress of Urologix's product for some time, as well as that of other devices for treating BPH, such as a device manufactured by VIDAMED (Nasdaq: VIDA) that uses radio waves rather than microwaves.

I've spoken with Prime and with an analyst who follows the company about the various technologies for treating BPH. Prime has discussed the matter in recent conference calls, as well. As I understand it, the Urologix product has a lower initial cost as compared with the Prostatron, but the consumables used in the treatments cost appreciably more. In any event, Prime is free to use whichever technology makes economic sense. It currently uses more than one kind of lithotripter, and it presumably could use more than one BPH technology. For now, Prime has settled on the Prostatron.

At the end of the day, what's likely to matter most is not which device costs somewhat more or somewhat less but rather which company can relate most effectively to the urology community and establish a profitable business venture in partnership with it. In that regard, Prime's record is formidable.

The Borefolio team will continue to research this development and will report back as we learn more.

But for now, I'm "oot" of here.

Drip Portfolio-- Defending Intel, the first buy.
Fool Message Boards -- Speak your mind!
Evening News -- All the news, early.
Daily Double
-- Grupo Radio Centro.
Daily Trouble -- Value in this butchered stock?
The Fool Portfolio -- Fool Port tied with Boring.
Fool Four -- 23% annualized.

(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  --         27.63
BGP   +  1/16  23.94
CSL   +  1/16  42.56
CSCO  -  9/16  77.56
GNT   -1 5/16  42.75
ORCL  - 15/16  38.63
OXHP  -  1/2   76.00
PMSI  -  1/4   10.75
TDW   +1 3/16  52.50
                  Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -0.60%  -2.36%  20.57%  38.74%
        S&P:     -0.78%  -4.33%  23.26%  46.88%
        NASDAQ:  -0.64%  -0.16%  23.26%  52.87%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     23.94   112.66%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     42.56    61.68%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     76.00    58.25%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     77.56    43.90%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     42.75    40.68%
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor    32.43     38.63    19.09%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     52.50    12.84%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     27.63    19.81%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     10.75     6.77%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49   9575.00  $5072.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   8512.50  $3247.51
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7600.00  $2797.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   8550.00  $2472.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   7756.25  $2366.26
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor  4864.99   5793.75   $928.76
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   5250.00   $597.51
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4043.75   $585.01
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   4300.00   $272.51

                             CASH   $7890.00
                            TOTAL  $69271.25