Boring Portfolio

Thursday, April 16, 1998
by Mark Weaver (

SPRINGFIELD, IL (April 16, 1998) -- The Boring Portfolio continued its winning ways on what was an otherwise forgettable market day. The S&P dipped 1.0% and the Nasdaq lost 0.27% in spite of wildly euphoric trading in Internet-related stocks. The Borefolio gained 0.31% even though losing stocks outpaced gainers 5 to 2.

It was a huge news day as three Boring stocks, Carlisle Companies (NYSE: CSL), Andrew (Nasdaq: ANDW) and our newest holding Pentair (NYSE: PNR), reported earnings. The news was very sweet as all three companies bested analyst estimates for the quarter.

Andrew reported $0.27 versus recently revised estimates of $0.24. In early March Andrew had warned that business was below expectations in January and February. March came in like a lion and so did business at Andrew, lifting earnings. The company still experienced a 7% drop in year-over-year earnings per share but the March 1997 quarter was exceptionally strong and provided a tough comparison.

Floyd English, CEO of Andrew, said "We are pleased that the order and sales rate improved in March from the levels we saw in January and February. However, we have work to do to accelerate the revenue growth. Telecommunication markets have excellent long term growth opportunities and we intend to capture the highest possible growth by developing new products and addressing new markets. We have the strong financial position needed to support internal product development, acquisitions, and expansion into new markets."

Sounds good to me! Oh yeah... Andrew was up $2 1/16.

Carlisle absolutely whalloped estimates by recording earnings of $0.62 per share versus estimates of $0.52. In a press release the company appeared to downplay the unexpected gain in earnings. Stephen Munn, chairman and CEO, said that while the company was happy with the quarter they "remain realistic that this quarter's results were exceptional." In spite of this bit of rain on the parade Carlisle rose $1.

Greg Markus forwarded me an article from the California edition of the Wall Street Journal which pointed out that one of the hottest businesses in California ports is refrigerated cargo. All of that fresh meat, produce and fish that consumers demand must be shipped in refrigerated containers, or "reefers" as they are know in the biz.

It turns out that shippers using "reefers" have been engaged in cutthroat competition and pricing has eroded substantially. One of these shippers, APL Limited (NYSE: APL), placed a $68 million order with Carlisle this past fall to provide APL with over 2500 such "reefers." Mr. Tom was quoted in the WSJ article as saying that further orders will be less likely in the current pricing environment.

That is something we will be keeping an eye on. We promise not to inhale...

Our most recent addition, Pentair, also bested estimates reporting $0.54 per share versus expectations of $0.53. This was the 18th straight quarter of positive year-over-year earnings comparisons for Pentair.

Chairman and CEO Winslow Buxton said, "We remain confident of our ability to build on our 4 1/2 years of earnings momentum".

I remain confident that Pentair is an excellent addition to the Borefolio. Pentair's stock sagged $13/16 in line with the general market.

Expect full coverage of all three conference calls here on The Motley Fool.

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

Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  +2 1/16  23.50 
 CGO   -  1/8   36.25 
 BGP   -  7/16  32.63 
 CSL   +1       49.88 
 CSCO  -  1/2   70.19 
 FCH   -  5/16  34.94 
 PNR   -  13/16 43.50 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   +0.31%   1.08%   2.17%  28.56% 
         S&P:     -1.00%   0.58%  14.19%  78.27% 
         NASDAQ:  -0.27%   1.23%  18.33%  78.51% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     32.63   189.84% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     70.19    95.33% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     49.88    89.46% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     36.25    57.21% 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair       43.74     43.50    -0.55% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     34.94    -7.06% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     23.50    -9.93% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  13050.00  $8547.51 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99  10528.13  $5138.14 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   9975.00  $4710.01 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   5437.50  $1978.76 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair     4374.25   4350.00   -$24.25 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   4700.00  -$518.00 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   6987.50  -$530.50 
                              CASH   $9251.26 
                             TOTAL  $64279.39