Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Friday, January 16, 1998
by Greg Markus (TMFBoring@aol.com)


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Jan. 16, 1998) -- Fueled by a 6% surge in the Japanese market and upbeat quarterly earnings reports, U.S. stocks posted solid gains Friday. The S&P 500 rose 1.13%, and the Nasdaq picked up 1.02%. For the week, those benchmarks gained 3.65% and 3.97%, respectively.

The Boring Portfolio rose 1.59% Friday. Every holding but one gained ground. The Borefolio's weekly gain of 2.97% lagged the benchmarks, however, owing in large part to a decline in shares of Prime Medical Services (Nasdaq: PMSI).

Prime's stock suffered as investors worried about the impact that proposed federal regulations would have upon the company's ability to maintain its physician-partnerships. Although it's possible that Prime can overcome this hurdle -- and perhaps even benefit from the new regs in the long run -- we decided that the situation was somewhat too risky for a Boring portfolio, and so we sold our investment in the company, for a modest profit. We'll continue to monitor the company's progress, and we wish them and their shareholders all the best.

The sale of the Prime Medical stock has swelled the cash balance to over 17% of the portfolio's total value. Our intention is to reinvest that cash in equities as quickly as possible. We're currently reviewing a number of possible buys, and we invite your recommendations -- with brief supporting arguments, ideally.

As for our current holdings...

Shares of Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) rebounded $9/16. The stock dipped Thursday after the company reported better than expected holiday sales results but at the same time said the launch of the Borders.com Website would be delayed until later in the quarter.

A spokesperson at Borders told me late yesterday that their e-commerce site would be offering a full range of music and video as well as books, and getting this ambitious an operation launched simply required a bit more time than they had anticipated. Borders is also in the final stages of constructing an immense fulfillment center in Tennessee to service Borders.com.

I asked if they needed an additional beta-tester, but they said they were all set, thanks.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) tacked on $3/8 to close at a bid of $57 13/16, a couple of points below its all-time high. ALLTEL (NYSE: AT) announced today that it has joined the Cisco Powered Network program (the Kid's version of "Intel Inside"), thereby offering its customers "reliable, secure and high-performance Internet services." ALLTELL is based in Little Rock, Ark.

FelCor Suite Hotels (NYSE: FCH) announced Thursday they had secured a $114 million loan at an attractive fixed rate of 6.988%. FelCor will use the proceeds to refinance some higher-interest debt related to its joint venture with Promus Hotel Corp. (NYSE: PRH) in nine Embassy Suites hotels.

FelCor stock added $15/16 Friday to its $7/16 gain from the day before, to close the week at $37 13/16. Those gains move the Borefolio's investment in FelCor stock -- which also pays a dividend currently figured at 6.1% -- into the black once again.

Strong earnings reports and enthusiastic projections for 1998 by drilling company executives helped buoy oil services stocks today, including those of Borefolio holding Tidewater (NYSE: TDW), which surged $2 1/2.

Tidewater will announce results for its December quarter on Jan. 26, in the morning. A conference call will be held later that day, and as is our custom, we'll be covering the call and providing you with a timely summary.

The stock market is closed on Monday to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We'll see you back here on Tuesday.

FoolWatch -- It's what's going on at the Fool today.

Buy a Book and Get It Signed! -- Book Tour '98


TODAY'S NUMBERS
Stock  Change    Bid 
 CGO   +  1/2   23.63 
 BGP   +  9/16  30.38 
 CSL   +  13/16 42.75 
 CSCO  +  3/8   57.81 
 FCH   +  15/16 37.81 
 GNT   -  1/16  23.88 
 TDW   +2 1/2   46.81 
 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   +1.59%  -4.06%  -4.06%  20.72% 
         S&P:     +1.13%  -0.92%  -0.92%  54.68% 
         NASDAQ:  +1.02%  -0.48%  -0.48%  50.14% 
  
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     30.38   169.85% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     42.75    62.39% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     57.81    60.89% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     23.63     2.46% 
  12/23/96  100 Tidewater     46.52     46.81     0.62% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     37.81     0.59% 
    2/2/96  200 Green Tree    30.39     23.88   -21.43% 
  
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  12150.00  $7647.51 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   8550.00  $3285.01 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99   8671.88  $3281.89 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3543.75    $85.01 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   7562.50    $44.50 
  12/23/96  100 Tidewater   4652.49   4681.25    $28.76 
    2/2/96  200 Green Tree  6077.49   4775.00 -$1302.49 
  
                              CASH  $10424.47 
                             TOTAL  $60358.85