Boring Portfolio

Upbeat Friday
Friday, March 27, 1998
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (March 27, 1998) -- The Boring Portfolio closed moderately higher Friday, putting an exclamation point on a week in which the Borefolio picked up a bit more than a thousand bucks (+1.63%) and pushed back into the black for the year-to-date.

Most of that gain came from Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO). The Kid edged up fractionally on the bid Friday to reach an all-time high just under the $70 mark -- a mark it touched briefly during the day. For the week, Cisco rose 9%, perhaps propelled by upbeat comments from president and CEO John Chambers and senior vice president Don Listwin regarding the company's strategic push to merge voice, video, and data communications.

A reader alerted me that the current issue of The Economist carries a story on Cisco and its chief executive. The story is available online at The Economist's website. I didn't find a whole lot of new news in it, but it's worth a look.

Carlisle Companies (NYSE: CSL) rose $1/4 Friday. As noted in Monday's Boring recap, Carlisle's wire and cable subsidiary, Tensolite Co., acquired privately held Vermont Electromagnetics Corp. of Williston, Vermont. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Tensolite subsidiary has been perhaps the brightest star in Carlisle's constellation over the past year or so, with more business than it was able to handle. The acquisition promises to enhance the Carlisle's ability to capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly growing specialty electronics markets.

This week also saw our snoozy hotel REIT, FelCor Suite Hotels (NYSE: FCH), rouse from its winter nap. FelCor announced Tuesday that it will be buying 109 hotels from Bristol Hotel (NYSE: BH), the world's largest owner of Holiday Inns (mostly Crown Plazas), in exchange for $1.2 billion in stock and the assumption of $700 million of debt.

As a real estate investment trust, or REIT, FelCor can own but not directly manage its hotels. Bristol will therefore spin off the hotel operations side of its business as a new public company, Bristol Hotels & Resorts Inc.

Then, each Bristol share will be swapped for 0.685 share of FelCor, for a total of 31.7 million FelCor shares. The "new" FelCor will then own 184 hotels, with more than 46,000 rooms, and have a market capitalization of more than $4 billion, making it the largest "non-paired" hotel REIT. The new Bristol will, in turn, operate the hotels for FelCor.

In an interview with Reuters, FelCor chief executive Thomas Corcoran said that he expects the deal to boost FelCor's 1998 earnings "by four to five percent above the $3.81 per share First Call consensus estimate."

FelCor stock rose $3/16 Friday to $36 7/8.

Also rising today were shares of Borders Group (NYSE: BGP), up $1/4. Offsetting the gains somewhat were fractional losses in our "A" list: Andrew Corp (Nasdaq: ANDW) and Atlas Air (NYSE: CGO).

That's about it. Enjoy the weekend!

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

Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  -  5/16  19.63 
 CGO   -  1/8   32.88 
 BGP   +  1/4   33.94 
 CSL   +  1/4   48.06 
 CSCO  +  1/16  69.38 
 FCH   +  3/16  36.88 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   +0.18%   0.33%   0.85%  26.90% 
         S&P:     -0.49%   4.39%  12.88%  76.22% 
         NASDAQ:  -0.27%   3.00%  16.13%  75.19% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     33.94   201.50% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     69.38    93.07% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     48.06    82.57% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     32.88    42.57% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     36.88    -1.90% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     19.63   -24.78% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  13575.00  $9072.51 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99  10406.25  $5016.26 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   9612.50  $4347.51 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4931.25  $1472.51 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   7375.00  -$143.00 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   3925.00 -$1293.00 
                              CASH  $13625.51 
                             TOTAL  $63450.51