Post Your Preference
...and J&J and Campbell rise

by Jeff Fischer (

ALEXANDRIA, VA (Oct. 5, 1998) -- As we announced on our community's Drip message boards this weekend, today we interviewed Mr. James Volpe, Vice President at First Chicago Trust Company of New York.

First Chicago Trust administers the DRP (or direct purchase plan) for over 400 companies, including Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. In general, we discussed how the plans are set up, why there are sometimes fees, and where the industry is going.

Unfortunately, we'll have details on the interview tomorrow, as we're still listening to the tape and compiling the facts from the 70 minute discussion.

In the meantime, the mission for today is to have everyone post on the Drip message board (if you haven't already) stating which industry you'd like the Drip Port (and so, yourself) to study next and, as a bonus, please tell us which companies in your preferred industry you'd like to focus on. We'll compile the votes on Friday and go with mob rule. Or, actually, with the most popular topic. There's no guarantee that we'll find a buy in the next industry we study, but we'll try. A key factor will be: Can we understand the industry enough to buy anything in it?

So please post your industry and company preferences on the Drip companies message board under the title: "Our Next Industry."

So please vote, and tomorrow we'll have details from the interview. Meanwhile, today might have been the first time that the Drip Port actually rose while Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) fell $3 or more. Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) continued its recent strength -- I believe because it is seen as a defensive, largely domestic company with little international exposure. Ninety percent of operating earnings are derived on this continent.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) rose on new analyst coverage from J.P. Morgan that gave the stock a 12-month price target of $87. The analyst stated that the company might reconfigure or reorganize some of its business, allowing for a valuation multiple expansion. (In the past, we've argued that the pharmaceutical division deserved a higher multiple.)

Please post your industry preference, and hope to see you here tomorrow.

Fool on!

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

10/05 Close

Stock Close Change CPB $54 3/4 +2 3/16 INTC $80 9/16 -3 5/16 JNJ $79 7/16 +2 5/16
Day Month Year History Drip 0.03% (0.41%) 11.59% (4.97%) S&P 500 (1.41%) (2.80%) 1.87% 3.91% Nasdaq (4.85%) (9.28%) (2.14%) (3.58%) Last Rec'd Total # Security In At Current 09/02/98 8.027 CPB $52.867 $54.750 09/01/98 9.727 INTC $80.238 $80.563 09/08/98 6.564 JNJ $70.161 $79.438 Last Rec'd Total # Security In At Value Change 09/02/98 8.027 CPB $424.36 $439.48 $15.12 09/01/98 9.727 INTC $780.50 $783.66 $3.16 09/08/98 6.564 JNJ $460.54 $521.43 $60.89 Base: $2000.00 Cash: $286.07** Total: $2030.63

The Drip Portfolio has been divided into 85.474 shares with an average purchase price of $23.399 per share.

The portfolio began with $500 on July 28, 1997, adds $100 on the 1st of every month, and the goal is to have $150,000 in stock by August of the year 2017.

**Transactions in progress:
9/21/98: Sent $77 to buy/enroll in MEL. 9/30/98: Sent $100 to buy more JNJ.