Boring Portfolio

FelCor hires Monica
Thursday, April 23, 1998
By Greg Markus (TMF Boring)


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (April 23, 1998) -- U.S. stocks dropped sharply Thursday, and the Boring Portfolio fell, too. Altogether, the Borefolio lost 1.20% in value -- a bit worse than the S&P 500 but not as bad as the 1.89% haircut inflicted upon the Nasdaq. Five of seven holdings lost ground.

FelCor Suite Hotels (NYSE: FCH) has been the focus of the past few Borefolio recaps, mostly me wondering why the stock market has overlooked this leading hotel REIT so far this year.

Well, perhaps that will change soon, as FelCor announced today that Monica Hildebrand has joined the company to become its director of communications. Hildebrand will be in charge of all of FelCor's activities involving media and public relations.

According to a press release, Hildebrand has 12 years of communications and public relations experience in the hospitality industry, is past president of the Memphis, Tenn., chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and is a '98 graduate of Leadership Memphis.

FelCor is slated to report its quarterly results on Monday, so perhaps we'll learn more about her during their followup conference call.

There's news regarding our newest Boring investment, Pentair (NYSE: PNR). It's a bit complicated, so please bear with me.

This morning, Applied Power (NYSE: APW) of Butler, Wisconsin, released a statement announcing that they (Applied Power, that is) had reached an agreement with the board of British company Vero Group plc, to acquire Vero at a proposed price of 157 pence in cash for each of Vero's approximately 60 million issued shares. That works out to approximately $158 million.

Vero manufactures electronic enclosures, racks, backplanes and power supplies and reportedly earned approximately $17 million in 1997 on sales of approximately $170 million.

Well, this afternoon Reuters reported that Pentair is considering making a counter-offer for Vero. That news helped to send Vero's shares soaring 27% on the London Exchange.

Pentair is a leader in the electronics enclosure industry in Europe, through its Schroff subsidiary. Early last year, Schroff acquired Transrack, a French manufacturer of cabinets, enclosures, subracks, and workstations. Transrack in turn owns 30% of SAITEK, an enclosure manufacturing business located in Barcelona, Spain.

And now it appears that Pentair is looking to bring British-based Vero into the fold.

Stock prices of potential acquirers seldom react positively to news of a possible bidding war, and Pentair's stock followed that rule today. PNR fell $1 7/16 to $43 7/8 in moderately active trading.

Also descending today were shares of Atlas Air (NYSE: CGO). The stock dropped $1 5/8 to $39 3/4 following an impressive runup from the low $20 range to more than $40 recently.

Atlas announced today that they had renewed a contract to provide cargo service for KLM (NYSE: KLM) using one of Atlas's 747-200 freighters.

On the upside, shares of Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) edged up $1/8 to $31 3/4. We're still waiting on the launch of Borders.com.

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


TODAY'S NUMBERS
Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  -  1/4   23.63 
 CGO   -1 5/8   39.75 
 BGP   +  1/8   31.75 
 CSL     ---    50.25 
 CSCO  -2       71.63 
 FCH   -  1/2   34.13 
 PNR   -1 7/16  43.88 
 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   -1.20%   1.66%   2.75%  29.29% 
         S&P:     -0.92%   1.62%  15.37%  80.11% 
         NASDAQ:  -1.89%   2.49%  19.81%  80.74% 
  
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     31.75   182.07% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     71.63    99.33% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     50.25    90.88% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     39.75    72.39% 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair       43.74     43.88     0.30% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     34.13    -9.22% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     23.63    -9.45% 
  
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  12700.00  $8197.51 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99  10743.75  $5353.76 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99  10050.00  $4785.01 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   5962.50  $2503.76 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair     4374.25   4387.50    $13.25 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   4725.00  -$493.00 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   6825.00  -$693.00 
  
                              CASH   $9251.26 
                             TOTAL  $64645.01