Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Tuesday, September 23, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMFBoring)

DAVISON, Mich. (September 23, 1997) -- Major market averages closed mixed Tuesday, with the Nasdaq rising 0.47% to yet another new high but the S&P 500 and Dow each slipping about one-third of a percentage point.

The Boring Portfolio dipped an equivalent amount. Individual Boring stocks moved up and down -- mostly down -- fractionally on no major news.

ORACLE (Nasdaq: ORCL) picked up $3/8 as rival INFORMIX (Nasdaq: IFMXE) dropped 11% in heavy trading after plummeting 22% on Monday. CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) was the only other Boring winner today. It gained $7/8 as network stocks continued to firm.

CARLISLE COMPANIES (NYSE: CSL) gave back $13/16 in light trading following a sustained move into record territory. The Motley Fool's Lunchtime News offers a brief look at Carlisle's winning business strategy.

GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT) eased $9/16 as bond yields rose slightly. The St. Paul-based diversified financial services company today announced that Joseph E. Huguelet, III has joined the company as a senior vice president with responsibility for Green Tree's insurance operations, which market physical damage, term mortgage life and other insurance products and programs to its customers and dealers.

BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP) slipped $3/16. The company announced two planned superstore openings, one in Montgomeryville, PA and one in Waldorf, MD. The openings are slated to occur ahead of the holiday shopping season.

OXFORD HEALTH (Nasdaq: OXHP) fell $7/8 as rumors that rival health insurer AETNA (NYSE: AET) would miss its quarter sent that stock down 8.8% in heavy trading. Aetna, which offered no comment on the rumor, has had continuing problems keeping its medical loss ratio under control. Oxford, to the contrary, has seen its loss ratio decline in recent quarters.

Also on Oxford: from the Tampa Business Journal comes news that Oxford is negotiating to open a Bay Area call center that could employ 400 people next year and up to 1,200 people by the year 2000. According to the Journal, the move is part of Oxford's expansion into Florida. Many of the initial hires are reportedly sales staff, while a number of other positions will be filled in the next two or three months.

Oxford recently filed plans to acquire 15,000-member Riscorp Health Plans Inc. of Sarasota, Fla. for about $6.2 million. That deal is pending state approval that could come as early as November. Oxford also plans soon to increase its stake in Tampa-based St. Augustine Healthcare Inc. from less than 20% to 80%, said St. Augustine CEO Dr. Dennis Mihale in the story.

With St. Augustine and Riscorp, Oxford would have a strong foothold in a state where HMO membership has doubled to 4.4 million in about 30 months.

Finally, TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW) ebbed $9/16. The "Heard on the Street" column in the Wall Street Journal cautioned that stocks of some offshore drillers may be peaking (or may not be), which hurt those and related issues today. Also, shares of HVIDE MARINE (Nasdaq: HMAR) sank 8.6% after the company warned it would not meet earnings expectations for its third quarter. Hvide, which services offshore rigs primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arabian Gulf blamed delays in completing scheduled repairs and "significant" delays in the completion of the three vessel conversions for the deepwater market.

It occurs to me that this gray cloud for Hvide just might contain a silver lining for Tidewater. After all, it's not exactly the worst thing in the world to learn that a competitor is having trouble getting its boats afloat.

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Stock  Change    Bid
ATLS  ---      26.38
BGP   -  3/16  27.94
CSL   - 13/16  46.06
CSCO  +  7/8   76.00
GNT   -  9/16  47.06
ORCL  +  3/16  37.31
OXHP  -  7/8   76.94
PMSI  -  1/16  14.31
TDW   -  9/16  57.81
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   -0.54%   5.22%  28.15%  47.42%
        S&P:     -0.37%   5.83%  28.51%  53.14%
        NASDAQ:  +0.47%   6.93%  31.47%  63.06%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     27.94   148.20%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     46.06    74.98%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     76.94    60.20%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     47.06    54.87%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     14.31    42.15%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     76.00    41.00%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     57.81    24.26%
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor    32.43     37.31    15.04%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     26.38    14.38%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  11175.00  $6672.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   9212.50  $3947.51
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   9412.50  $3335.01
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7693.75  $2891.26
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   7600.00  $2210.01
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   5725.00  $1697.51
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   5781.25  $1128.76
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor  4864.99   5596.88   $731.89
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3956.25   $497.51

                             CASH   $7890.00
                            TOTAL  $74043.13