Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, October 6, 1997
by Greg Markus (TMFBoring@aol.com)


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Oct. 6, 1997) -- The Boring Portfolio nestled between the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 in terms of daily gains, rising 0.68% as compared with the Nasdaq's 0.35% and the S&P's 0.79%. The latter two established new highs, while the Borefolio remains about $800 shy of its high of $74,578 set on Sept. 26.

This morning, ATLAS AIR (Nasdaq: ATLS) announced it has signed a long-term contract to provide an additional freighter to Lineas Aereas Suramericanas (LAS). Atlas first established its relationship with the South American carrier in January with a three-year contract for one freighter. LAS has now added a second aircraft and has also extended the first contract for an additional 12 months.

Atlas now operates five aircraft serving the South American cargo market and has become the largest operator of wide-body 747 freighters connecting the U.S. mainland with its neighbors to the south. To accommodate this growth, Atlas also announced today the opening of a regional office in Miami.

Additional news relating to Atlas appeared during the day. According to a Dow Jones wire story, BOEING's (NYSE: BA) Commercial Airplane Group has delivered the last of six modified 747-200 freighter aircraft to Atlas. According to the story, the modifications included increasing the airplane's gross take-off weight, enabling it to haul 124 tons of cargo for up to 4,000 miles.

My understanding is that this is the last of six aircraft that Atlas acquired from Thai Airways. According to Atlas's most recent quarterly filing with the SEC, the fifth of those aircraft was placed into service in August. The delivery reported today fits Atlas's plan, as articulated earlier this year, to have all six of the acquired aircraft in service during the fourth quarter of this year.

Shares of Atlas Air dipped $ 1/8 in light trading to a bid of $26 7/8.

Other fractional losers Monday included BORDERS GROUP (NYSE: BGP), off $1/16, PRIME MEDICAL (Nasdaq: PMSI) down $1/8, and GREEN TREE FINANCIAL (NYSE: GNT) lower by $1/4.

On a day in which the yield on the long bond dropped to its lowest closing level of the year, Green Tree may have been dampened a bit by a somewhat muted pre-earnings update from Lehman Brothers. For reasons unknown to me, Tom Facciola keeps a "buy" on GNT but maintains a 1998 EPS estimate at the bottom of the range, as provided in First Call, and fully $0.12 off the consensus forecast of $3.62.

Ah, well. Perhaps after Green Tree reports results for its third quarter on Oct. 15 Facciola will revise his calculations.

After rebounding $2 5/8 on Friday, shares of OXFORD HEALTH PLANS (Nasdaq: OXHP) fell $ 2 1/8 today in heavy trading. The roller-coaster ride continues, at no extra charge.

CISCO SYSTEMS (Nasdaq: CSCO) gained nearly $6 on Thursday and Friday. Today, the Kid tacked on $1 1/16 as the gigantic NetWorld+Interop trade show opened in Atlanta. Cisco chief technology officer Ed Kozel will deliver a keynote speech at N+I on Wednesday morning. His topic: "The Internet Revolution and Virtual Enterprise."

Zzzzzz.

Actually, the talk could be more interesting than the title implies. In the "good-cop/bad-cop" scenario sometimes played out by Cisco execs, Kozel is the bad cop. If Cisco CEO John Chambers sometimes comes off as the quiet and paternal Andy of Mayberry, Kozel is NYPD Blue's Andy Sipowitz. No one had better compare Cisco's routers to the dinosaur mainframe computers of the '70s while Kozel is in the room.

Speaking of dinosaur mainframes, Cisco and EDS (NYSE: EDS) today announced an alliance to provide mainframe-to-Internet/intranet integration and networking services for corporate, uh, "legacy" systems.

Shares of TIDEWATER (NYSE: TDW) rose $1 15/16 to $63 1/16, extending the stock's move into record territory. A favorable review of oil drillers and service stocks that appeared this weekend in Alan Abelson's column in Barron's may have helped boost the group today.

In light of Abelson's less-than-inspiring acumen on matters of investing in the last half of the twentieth century, my initial reaction to the story was to begin writing a "sell" report for Tidewater. A moment's reflection on the homily that even a stopped clock is right twice a day persuaded me to relax, however.

Finally, a correction and apology. As I have on some past occasions when Tidewater's stock has surged, I celebrated Friday's gain with a hearty "Roll, Tide!" A reader from Louisiana gently reminded me that shouting the cheer of Alabama's Crimson Tide probably does not go over all that well with the Tidewater folks in New Orleans.

While chalking up my lapse (accurately) as the faux pas of a Big Ten Conference yankee, he suggested an alternative: "Geaux Tigers!"

I think I can learn that one. After all, up in my neck of the woods we've got bumper stickers proclaiming "Allez, Bleu!"

Drip Portfolio -- Healthcare decision.
The Fool Portfolio -- Fool Port getting closer.
Fool Message Boards -- Speak your mind!
Evening News -- All the news, early.
Daily Double
-- Doubled. Why? Learn.
Daily Trouble -- Slammed. A value?
Fool Four -- 23% annualized historically


TODAY'S NUMBERS
Stock  Change    Bid
ATLS  -  1/8   26.88
BGP   -  1/16  26.88
CSL   +  13/16 45.50
CSCO  +1 1/16  79.50
GNT   -  1/4   48.25
ORCL  +  3/16  37.00
OXHP  -2 1/2   71.13
PMSI  -  1/8   13.25
TDW   +1 15/16 63.06
                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.68%   0.91%  28.23%  47.56%
        S&P:     +0.79%   2.68%  31.31%  56.48%
        NASDAQ:  +0.35%   2.15%  33.37%  65.42%

     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     26.88   138.76%
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     45.50    72.84%
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     48.25    58.78%
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea    48.02     71.13    48.10%
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst    53.90     79.50    47.50%
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     63.06    35.55%
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi    10.07     13.25    31.60%
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     26.88    16.55%
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor    32.43     37.00    14.08%

     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change
  2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  10750.00  $6247.51
  8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   9100.00  $3835.01
   2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   9650.00  $3572.51
  6/26/96  100 Cisco Syst  5389.99   7950.00  $2560.01
  5/24/96  100 Oxford Hea  4802.49   7112.50  $2310.01
 12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   6306.25  $1653.76
   3/8/96  400 Prime Medi  4027.49   5300.00  $1272.51
 11/21/96  150 Oracle Cor  4864.99   5550.00   $685.01
   3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4031.25   $572.51

                             CASH   $8028.59
                            TOTAL  $73778.59