Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, February 9, 1998
by Greg Markus (

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Feb. 9, 1998) -- The Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Boring Portfolio all eased fractionally on a generally uneventful Monday.

The Borefolio fell 0.31% despite four of six holdings landing in the plus column. Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), however, did not. The Kid dropped two bucks on the bid side in moderate trading. I saw no news that might account for the loss, although I understand that Cisco CEO John Chambers appears on the cover of the latest issue of a leading business magazine. Don't ask me why, by tradition has it that whenever a company is featured on a magazine cover, that's usually good for a coupla bucks on the downside for the stock.

Atlas Air (NYSE: CGO) climbed more than 5% last week, and Monday it tacked on $9/16. The company is slated to report results for the December quarter on Wednesday morning. The consensus forecast of analysts who cover the stock is EPS of $0.35, according to First Call.

Carlisle Companies (NYSE: CSL) added $5/16 in fairly heavy trading (for Carlisle) to close at $47 11/16. The stock set a new high of $47 15/16 during the day.

As Mark Weaver and I have noted in recent Boring recaps, our intention is to invest the balance of the Borefolio's funds in equities as soon as possible. If you're wondering why the lack of action in that regard, I can only say that it's not for lack of trying.

The problem is not one of identifying excellent companies with solid growth prospects and that would complement our current holdings. To the contrary, we've got plenty of those on our list. Among them (in no particular order) are Avery Dennison (NYSE: AVY), Danaher (NYSE: DHR), Newell (NYSE: NWL), Cintas (Nasdaq: CTAS), Dionex (Nasdaq: DNEX), Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT), and Becton-Dickinson (NYSE: BDX).

All of these companies offer solid growth prospects with relatively low volatility. Nearly all pay a dividend, as well. All are distinguished by excellent management. Boring to the core.

The problem, alas, is price. With comfortable domestic interest rate and inflation prospects, and cash from all corners of the globe seeking the perceived safety and growth enjoyed by the U.S. equities market, the price of the good stuff is awfully dear.

Should we set matters of valuation (at least as we assess it) to the side, figuring that over the long haul one's purchase point won't matter appreciably? Or should we sit on the sidelines, patiently waiting for the stocks we want to come to us?

If you've got an opinion on this matter, we'd be delighted if you weigh in with it on the Boring message board.

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

Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  +  5/8   28.50 
 CGO   +  9/16  24.50 
 BGP   -  1/2   32.25 
 CSL   +  5/16  47.69 
 CSCO  -2       63.94 
 FCH   +  3/16  37.44 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   -0.31%   2.17%  -1.34%  24.15% 
         S&P:     -0.17%   3.11%   4.15%  62.60% 
         NASDAQ:  -0.23%   4.39%   7.65%  62.39% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     32.25   186.51% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     47.69    81.15% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     63.94    77.93% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     28.50     9.24% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     24.50     6.25% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     37.44    -0.41% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  12900.00  $8397.51 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   9537.50  $4272.51 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99   9590.63  $4200.64 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   5700.00   $482.00 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   3675.00   $216.26 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   7487.50   -$30.50 
                              CASH  $13182.97 
                             TOTAL  $62073.60