Four Stocks
Four communities

by Jeff Fischer (TMFJeff)

ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 10, 1999) -- Tomorrow Brian.com will share where we're going next on the investment front, and today I, Jeff.com, will share some recent thoughts from the message boards for each of our stocks.

The Fool community is one of our strongest assets ("our" being the collective "all of us"), so we want to highlight great message board discussions more often. Many Fools still only read written columns and don't participate on the message boards. We want to change that because we all benefit when many smart Fools share their thoughts.

We own four companies and behind each is an active community on a message board. We'll now consider each of our companies and the most recent, relevant community discussions surrounding them.

The most active thread of discussion on the Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) board has concerned the possibility of a buyout. The discussion came to an end (at least for now) when a Fool named sweetswirl posted this note: Campbell Soup buyout; not in our lifetime!! To see sweetswirl's reasoning, click the link to the post. The post also explains sweetswirl's strong liking of the stock for the long term. (Incidentally, this was sweetswirl's first and so far only post on the Fool, but one person already loves sweetswirl, as seen on sweetswirl's profile.)

Campbell Soup has bounced from recent lows of $38 to trade near $44, ignoring a shaky market. It rose 1.7% today.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) possesses one of the most active and intelligent message boards on the Fool. Many posters know the business incredibly well. Some posters work at Intel. The recent conversation has addressed Intel's intrinsic value -- always a key question. How much is the company worth? At a current market value of $183 billion, how much shareholder value could future earnings create? Estimates shared on the message board splatter the map.

Brian shared a thoughtful post on the concept of intrinsic value. Simply follow the "Intrinsic Value" thread to read the thoughts of several other Fools, too, including a post where Fool Trevar shares Dale Wettlaufer's column explaining intrinsic value.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has a relatively quiet but smart community as well. Alongside praise of management's stable, long-term performance, Fools have recently discussed J&J's new cholesterol-controlling margarine, Benecol. The product is expected to achieve a few hundred million dollars in sales in the next four years.

I learned from the message board that Benecol has its own website, Benecol.com. (Maybe it should go public.) Also -- and I love this -- a UK Fool named astrocam shared with everyone how Benecol is being received in the UK, where it was first introduced. You can find UK Fools (and Fools from around the world, literally) on our boards and, of course, swarming the always-entertaining Fool UK site. Given our worldwide audience, the knowledge that you gain from the boards can be as broad as you dare imagine.

Next, there's Mellon Bank (NYSE: MEL). One of the best recent exchanges on the message board concerned a bank's efficiency ratio. What is it and how does Mellon rank? One Fool asked and another Fool answered, and later they shared paper annual reports across cyberspace as if they were sitting across a table in the same room. See the brief thread linked above. The efficiency ratio is efficiently explained (our financial study seems a long time ago) and Mellon's recent performance number is shared.

I try to read these four message boards every day, and at the very least I visit them a few times per week. If you ever have questions about these companies, I -- or someone on the boards -- will certainly answer them. How cool is that? How Foolish is that? Just think. A mere five years ago if you had questions about Mellon Bank you had few ways to get them answered. You could struggle alone with your questions, call the company and hope to talk to someone in the know, or call an expensive broker (even worse than being alone). Improvement since the advent of Web browsers has been fast and furious. And this is just the beginning.

See you on the boards. Fool on!

The Fool is hiring. Answer the call.

 Recent Drip Portfolio Headlines
  12/27/00  Eight Lessons from a Down Market
  12/26/00  Fools Share Their Blessings
  12/21/00  Amazon Dropped from Study
  12/20/00  Ciena's Not Like Other Telecoms
  12/19/00  They Say You Can't Invest
Drip Portfolio Archives »