Boring Portfolio

Borefolio Zigs
... as market zags
by Greg Markus (TMF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (July 2, 1998) -- The Boring Portfolio zigged up 1.15% in value Thursday as the benchmark indices zagged down in pre-holiday profit-taking. The S&P 500 fell 0.19% while the Nasdaq lost 1.07% due to weakness in chip and software stocks.

We find ourselves waist deep in what has become the ritual of the end-of-quarter warnings season. From late June through early July, companies commemorate Independence Day by liberating themselves from the oppression of The Street's expectations about their quarterly profits. That those expectations may well have been based upon guidance the companies provided themselves is a matter to discuss some other day. For now, sit back and watch as executives explain why their companies won't make their numbers due to weakness in Asia, order "push-outs," sales that failed to close within the quarter, cool spring weather, warm spring weather, the dog ate their business plan, and so forth.

Pardon me. I should be more grateful. After all, Mr. Market graced the Borefolio by bidding up its, uh, Internet stock -- Borders Group (NYSE: BGP) -- by better than 7% to $39 5/8. Analysts at Merrill and Brown Brothers graced my favorite bookseller -- online or otherwise -- with "buy" ratings yesterday.

Now if only we could get Carlisle Companies (NYSE: CSL) to issue a press release stating that they've opened up for selling lawn mower wheels or porcelain mugs over the Web. That oughta be worth six or eight points, easy.

Atlas Air (NYSE: CGO) was the other wind beneath the wings of the Borefolio today. CGO ascended $7/8 to $36 1/4.

Wednesday, Atlas announced it had reached an agreement with Boeing (NYSE: BA) to accelerate into 1999 the scheduled deliveries of two of the new 747-400 freighters that Atlas had on order. The revised schedule now calls for five "firm" deliveries in 1998, four "firm" deliveries in 1999, one firm delivery and four options available in 2000, and six additional options available thereafter.

The company said that the revved up delivery schedule will "obviously further increase our projected 1999 block hour growth rate."

Atlas founder, chairman, CEO, president, and all-around busy guy, Michael Chowdry, added that, "As Stage 3 noise rules are fully implemented at the end of 1999, we anticipate that there will begin to be a shortage of air cargo capacity, as older aircraft which do not meet these criteria will be removed from service. This means that at a time when capacity will be declining significantly, Atlas Air will be positioned with the largest fleet of the most economical and capable heavy lift aircraft in the world."

On the heels of that news, Merrill Lynch today raised its long-term rating on Atlas to "buy" from "accumulate."

Finally, if you happen to be wondering what the management of FelCor Suite Hotels (NYSE: FCH) thinks about their company's proposed merger with Bristol Hotels (NYSE: BH), there are at least two pieces of evidence worth considering. The first is the steady stream of insider buying this year. The second is a post from the "Cor" in FelCor, president and CEO Tom Corcoran in The Motley Fool stock folders at our Website. Both are interesting reading.

Enjoy the holiday, folks, and please do drive safely. I'll see you back here on Monday.

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

07/02/98 Close

Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  -  1/4   18.44 
 CGO   +  7/8   36.25 
 BGP   +2 11/16 39.63 
 CSL   -  1/4   44.19 
 CSCO  -1 15/16 92.56 
 FCH   -  3/16  30.81 
 PNR   -  5/16  41.19 
 TBY     ---    9.25 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   +1.15%   2.44%   6.82%  34.41% 
         S&P:     -0.19%   1.11%  18.14%  84.42% 
         NASDAQ:  -1.07%  -0.04%  20.61%  81.95% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     39.63   252.03% 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst    35.93     92.56   157.60% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     44.19    67.85% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     36.25    57.21% 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair       43.74     41.19    -5.84% 
   5/20/98  400 TCBY Enter    10.05      9.25    -7.91% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     30.81   -18.03% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     18.44   -29.33% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  15850.00 $11347.51 
   6/26/96  150 Cisco Syst  5389.99  13884.38  $8494.39 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   8837.50  $3572.51 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   5437.50  $1978.76 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair     4374.25   4118.75  -$255.50 
   5/20/98  400 TCBY Enter  4018.00   3700.00  -$318.00 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   6162.50 -$1355.50 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   3687.50 -$1530.50 
                              CASH   $5528.69 
                             TOTAL  $67206.82