Fool Portfolio Report
Monday, October 21, 1996

by David Gardner (MotleyFool)

ALEXANDRIA, VA, October 21, 1996 -- Down day for everybody, pretty much, as all the market indices went down and the Fool with them. Fortunately, it wasn't a bad down day. It was a goose down day. We got goosed.

The Fool surrendered half a percent along with the Nasdaq, while the S&P 500 dropped less. Let's do a brief roundup of our holdings before looking more broadly over Fooldom, taking an unWise spin around some of our out-of-the-way Foolish offerings.

First off, it was earnings day in Chevronville (that's San Francisco, for FoolPort trivia fans). Reflecting higher crude oil prices, higher natural gas prices, and sharply higher domestic exploration and production, Chevron announced impressive third-quarter earnings of $1.00 per share. That's up from $0.44 per share in the third quarter of 1995, and a nickel ahead of estimates. The market certainly wasn't surprised, though, as the stock dropped $3/8 today. Over the past couple of months, of course, CHV is up more than 10%, obviously moving in anticipation of this report. With crude oil prices near record highs today and tensions ongoing in the Middle East and Russia, a Fool might expect continued strong performance from 1996's penultimate profit prospect, the double-up stock among the Foolish Four.

General Motors is close to ending its Canadian Auto Workers strike, putting the stock among our risers today, up $5/8. GM announced that as of 4 PM ET today, over 18,000 employees have been affected by the work stoppage in Canada. So OK already, let's get our men and women back to work and keep building off those strong third-quarter numbers!

Other risers include America Online, up a stout $1 3/8 today to lead all Foolish holdings, and Lucent Technologies, up $3/4. No real news from either one. Short covering, on AOL?

Iomega gave back $3/4 of its Friday gains, following a strong sales -- and decent earnings -- report. The company appears well-positioned for a bang-up fourth quarter. 3Com surrendered $5/8 after announcing a new firewall product; still, it fared much better than some other networking companies (like Cisco and Ascend, both of which were off more than $4 at their daily lows).

And Quarterdeck forfeited a sixteenth on the ask, closing at $6 1/8. The stock's closing bid was $5 15/16, where it traded briefly before close. Since we're short this stock, we're encouraged by such action. Volume dried up a bit, below 200,000 shares, following the recent trend. Today's 3:54 PM low represents the cheapest this stock has traded since the October 7th "restructuring-and-oh-by-the-way-we're-coming-in-below-estimates announcement."

No action today on our lame-duck stock, ATC Communications. ATCT dropped $1/2 on the ask, but remains unpurchased. We continue to believe we can obtain a better price in the next three days; we will of course be purchasing by Thursday close, no matter what.

Now, I had the opportunity to cruise Fooldom a bit this weekend, reading some folders and entering some areas I don't normally get to in the course of a work week. And I was pretty much blown away by all that's going on out there. Many of you already know our regular staples: the AOL popular nighttime chats, Today's Pitch, and the fine contributions from our Industry Fools in the Stock Research area. But there are new things popping up all over.

For instance, it's not unusual these days to receive contributions to our AOL message folders directly from company officers. Over the weekend, for instance, Patrick Milan of U.S. Satellite Broadcasting (Nasdaq:USSB) began contributing to our USSB folder on his own initiative. Mr. Milan is head of the company's corporate communications, and has made himself available to answer your questions about his company right here in Fooldom. Milan is only the latest in a growing group of corporate investor relations departments that recognize the beauty and significance of this medium, and the centrality of the Fool's place in it. The fun thing is that we don't solicit this participation; it's just happening. Amazing.

(Also of recent interest, just last week CEO Steve Case dropped a post in our AOL folder, as well.)

To this end, I wanted to share with you a short list of useful and dynamic places in Fooldom you may not be aware of. Each of these represents compelling, accessible work that you might find of educational, analytical, or entertainment value -- or better, all three. A few of them I hadn't really noticed until this weekend. What emerges is the picture of a vibrant forum for national discussion about all manner of investments and money decisions, with perhaps the highest quality of intellectual involvement I've ever seen on a mass level. Drop by these stops if you get a chance and see if you agree:

[Several of  the following areas are currently available only on our AOL site. Look soon for a more interative Fool website!]

The Economy & Markets folder (AOL Only). You get there on AOL by clicking our Messages button, which takes you to our message boards. In the category called Industry & Market Analysis, you'll find this message folder, moderated by staff contributor Macrodata. If you're interested in discussing the direction of the stock market, the economy, the gold price, oil, you name it, you'll find a very intelligent, active, and amiable discussion here, focused on learning. Though I don't believe it's consistently possible to call the markets accurately, if it is, Macrodata's doing it with his work on liquidity, T-bill rates vs. dividend rates, and a few other Foolish studies.

The Foreign Stocks folder (AOL Only). Where else in Fooldom can you go to learn that India's stock market is down 50% in the past year? (Yep.) The Fool Portfolio doesn't have much interest in foreign stocks, but some of our best thinkers among staff and readers do, and their ongoing discussion is a nice daily read. Also in the Industry & Market Analysis section.

13 Steps on Monday nights (AOL Only). We run an auditorium series for new investors every Monday night at 9 PM. It takes you through our 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly, one Step at a time. Tonight, for example, you can come in and learn about Investing for Growth (the Sixth Step) from its inventor, MF DowMan, with Tom Gardner interviewing. Newcomers to Fooldom or our investing approach should circle their calendars and visit the AOL site at 9 PM ET, Mondays.

Fribble. A fine regular feature that plays on both AOL and our Web site is the Fribble. A short and amusing essay often -- but not necessarily -- about investing, you can locate the Fribble by clicking the Fool's face on our AOL main screen, or right there on the top page of our Web site.

Lunchtime News. While the market commentary that makes up our Foolish Evening News is one of The Motley Fool's most popular features, it continually surprises me how many readers do not know that we crank out a lunchtime version for their edification and amusement. The Lunchtime News contains a thoroughgoing look at the market's most significant movers for the day, as well as "The Fool Plate Special," featured analysis that appears uniquely at lunch. It's always there by noon Eastern, on our top page.

Beat the Fool (AOL only). Many of our readers know about FoolBall, our humorous companion game to the football game broadcast on Mondays by one of those television networks with three letters. Fewer Foolish football fans know about Beat the Fool, however. Here, you can win free online time on AOL by picking winners to eight games better than that week's featured Foolish analyst. (An NHL version exists as well.) AOL Keyword FOOLBALL takes you there.

As always, if you have any problems finding new stuff, or problems finding updates of old stuff you've seen before, AOL readers should drop by our Help Desk, which you can click into directly from our main-screen listbox. Web readers should e-mail for a quick response.

Fool on!

--- David Gardner, October 21, 1996

Today's Numbers

Stock Change Bid ------------------- AOL +1 3/8 26.75 T --- 40.00 CHV - 3/8 67.13 GM + 5/8 53.88 IOMG - 3/4 23.13 KLAC - 1/2 23.75 LU + 3/4 48.25 MMM - 7/8 71.63 QDEK - 1/16 6.13 COMS - 5/8 62.25
Day Month Year History FOOL -0.48% -2.45% 48.90% 178.03% S&P 500 -0.14% 3.28% 15.25% 54.85% NASDAQ -0.49% 0.78% 17.51% 71.68% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 23.13 818.03% 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 26.75 267.80% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 67.13 33.49% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 62.25 32.84% 9/27/96 -890 Quarterdec 7.08 6.13 13.54% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 71.63 9.06% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 53.88 3.66% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 48.25 1.33% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 40.00 1.07% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 23.75 -46.88% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 46481.25 $41418.12 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 18190.00 $13244.44 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 15562.50 $3847.51 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8390.63 $2105.02 9/27/96 -890 Quarterdec -6304.75 -5451.25 $853.50 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 7878.75 $654.31 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 15085.00 $532.51 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 5200.00 $54.89 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 2026.50 $26.62 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 3087.50 -$2724.99 CASH $22563.12 TOTAL $139014.00 Transmitted: 10/21/96