Boring Portfolio

A Strong Week
Friday, April 17, 1998
By Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (April 17, 1998) -- The Boring Portfolio finished perhaps the strongest week it has enjoyed thus far in 1998 by rising 0.54% today, thanks primarily to a rebound in shares of Borders Group (NYSE: BGP), continuing strength in Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Atlas Air (NYSE: CGO), and a good showing by the Borefolio's newest investment, Pentair (NYSE: PNR).

For the week, the Borefolio gain 2.70%, topping the S&P 500's 1.08% advance and even the Nasdaq's 2.55% surge. Six of seven Boring stocks showed weekly gains, with FelCor Suite Hotels (NYSE: FCH) easing fractionally.

Atlas Air gained $3/16 ahead of the company's quarterly earnings report, which is scheduled for Monday. According to a Reuters report, Atlas Air's cargo shipments from Miami International Airport increased a whopping 680% in 1997, to 158,151 metric tonnes. That moved the company into second place in total volume shipped from MIA, just behind American Airlines (NYSE: AMR) with 166,678 metric tonnes.

Three of our Boring companies reported their quarterly results on Thursday -- Andrew Corp. (Nasdaq: ANDW), Carlisle (NYSE: CSL), and Pentair. All three beat the Street's consensus forecasts.

Carlisle blew the roof off, earning $0.62 per share -- a full dime more than the consensus estimate listed in First Call. Favorable weather in much of the country helped the construction industry get a jump on business this spring. That helped Carlisle's roofing materials businesses, although it may end up stealing some business from later quarters. Trucking and automotive segments continue strong for Carlisle, as does its refrigerated container biz. The aerospace industry also continues to hum, and Carlisle's Tensolite division, which supplies aircraft cable and wiring, is selling all it can turn out... and then some.

As a consequence of all this good business, Carlisle will be investing fairly heavily in increasing production capacity in some key segments. Carlisle's management is very careful in making these decisions, and they are confident that this added capacity will be put to good use. I've never yet had any reason to second-guess Carlisle's execs, and I don't intend to now.

Speaking of solid management, I'm really getting to enjoy learning how Pentair executives run their many-splendored business. I refer you to our summary of Pentair's conference call, held Thursday, for details.

As for Andrew, a pick-up in sales last month helped the company exceed the cautious projections it offered on March 10th. In a follow-up conference call, Andrew management said they are "cautiously optimistic" that the second half of their fiscal year (which ends in September) will show sales and earnings improvements over 1997, provided that domestic cellular and PCS sales strengthen as they are expected to and international markets maintain decent growth.

We'll be offering our summary of Andrew's conference call shortly. In the meantime, a toll-free call to Andrew's investor relations department will provide you with the phone number for a taped replay of the conference call. The IR department's number is 800-232-6767.

I hope you have a great weekend.

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

Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  -  9/16  22.94 
 CGO   +  3/16  36.44 
 BGP   +  13/16 33.44 
 CSL   -  1/16  49.81 
 CSCO  +  1/4   70.44 
 FCH   -  1/16  34.88 
 PNR   +  15/16 44.44 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   +0.54%   1.63%   2.72%  29.25% 
         S&P:     +1.31%   1.90%  15.69%  80.61% 
         NASDAQ:  +0.45%   1.68%  18.86%  79.32% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     33.44   197.06% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     70.44    96.02% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     49.81    89.22% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     36.44    58.02% 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair       43.74     44.44     1.59% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     34.88    -7.22% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     22.94   -12.08% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  13375.00  $8872.51 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99  10565.63  $5175.64 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   9962.50  $4697.51 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   5465.63  $2006.89 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair     4374.25   4443.75    $69.50 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   6975.00  -$543.00 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   4587.50  -$630.50 
                              CASH   $9251.26 
                             TOTAL  $64626.26