Boring Portfolio

Atlas Ascends
Monday, March 16, 1998
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)


ANN ARBOR, MICH. (March 16, 1998) -- Another day, another record. The Dow rose more than 100 points Monday to close above the 8700 mark and establish yet another all-time high. New highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, too. This despite the fact that earnings forecasts for the 30 Dow stocks and the 500 S&P stocks continue to fall. Go figure.

Another thing falling is the value of the Boring Portfolio -- down 0.71% today, owing to slumps in shares of Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) and Andrew Corp. (Nasdaq: ANDW).

You may recall that Borders executives announced recently that the company plans to open three Borders superstores outside of the U.S. this year -- one in Australia and two in the U.K. Today, Reuters quoted a report by retail research group Verdict predicting that the expected arrival of a Borders on London's Oxford Street could trigger a price war that would shake up some of the "weaker players and independents."

According to Reuters, the Verdict report projects that Borders will have to differentiate itself from other booksellers to win market share and was likely to do this by offering lower prices.

Borders stock fell $1 1/8 in moderately heavy trading today.

As for Andrew Corp., over the weekend the Chicago Tribune reported that chairman, president, and CEO Floyd English and two other company officers exercised options and sold stock totaling approximately 80,000 shares last month. English's sale of 16,980 shares of common at $27.69 reportedly occurred on Feb. 27 -- less than two weeks before the company warned of a likely revenue and earnings shortfall.

Andrew's stock fell $3/4 to $21 3/16 today.

Needless to say, I've contacted the company asking for a clarification.

On the upside, shares of Atlas Air (NYSE: CGO) ascended $13/16 following news this morning that the Golden, Colorado-based air cargo firm had reached an agreement to place a sixth Boeing 747-200 freighter aircraft with China Airlines.

This aircraft is one of two that Atlas had leased to Philippine Airlines for passenger service and has recently been called back for use as a freighter. The aircraft are currently undergoing conversion to freighter configuration at Boeing's (NYSE: BA) facility in Wichita, Kansas.

According to a press release, the new contract contains terms and conditions similar to previous ones between Atlas and China Air, and provides for China Air's long-term dedicated use of the freighter.

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


TODAY'S NUMBERS
Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  -  3/4   21.19 
 CGO   + 13/16 33.31 
 BGP   -1 1/8   32.13 
 CSL   +  3/16  47.19 
 CSCO  -  1/4   64.31 
 FCH   +  3/16  35.56 
 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   -0.71%  -2.11%  -1.60%  23.81% 
         S&P:     +1.00%   2.85%  11.22%  73.62% 
         NASDAQ:  +0.93%   1.00%  13.87%  71.78% 
  
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     32.13   185.40% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     47.19    79.25% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     64.31    78.98% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     33.31    44.47% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     35.56    -5.39% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     21.19   -18.79% 
  
  
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  12850.00  $8347.51 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99   9646.88  $4256.89 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   9437.50  $4172.51 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4996.88  $1538.14 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   7112.50  -$405.50 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   4237.50  -$980.50 
  
                              CASH  $13625.51 
                             TOTAL  $61906.76