Fool Portfolio Report
Tuesday, November 26, 1996
by Jeff Fischer (MF BudFox)
ALEXANDRIA, VA, November 26, 1996 -- The Fool had a dog-like day. Or, maybe I should say, a "turkey" of a day. But if it was a dog-day, it was a Chihuahua day, not a Great Dane. The portfolio dropped 0.59% while the market bounced around. Stocks first appeared as if they wanted to "fly," but then fell to the ground in a clumsy mess. The S&P 500 ended with a slight loss, and the Nasdaq about broke even. Aside from today's stock moves, in Fooldom today another important step forward was taken.
We've recently seen more company executives coming online to talk of their businesses in their respective stock boards; and for a long time we've known many company personnel have followed their respective boards at least as readers (and very likely their competitors' boards, too). Now the next move is taking shape, and that is for the companies to come out from "behind the scenes" in the online world. Happily, Foolishly, this is the next logical step public companies are now making, and will continue to make in increasing numbers. Public companies are, afterall, public, and owned by the public; so the more accessible they are to that public, the more fair and "right" the whole arrangement is.
As is often the case, the "small guys" are taking many of the first steps forward. Of course, smaller companies have more interest in being highly accessible, and in becoming more widely known. Large companies haven't been publicly opposed to online candor, but they don't have the pressing need for it. Though as more and more small companies become fully accessible, large companies will follow along likewise. In fact -- though I'm not going to write much about this until I find out the specifics -- one Fool recently wrote that the SEC held conferences in which they encouraged corporations to be open with the online public, within the same context as they are open with the public in any other way. In other words, why should the online medium be any different from any other medium when it comes to sharing? It's simply another means to distribute and discuss information -- and it's very easy to argue that online is the superior way.
Today in the Access Beyond Inc. (Nasdaq: ACCB) board, the Fool was given another "gold-star" of Foolish open-ness and sharing; the board post follows:
"Subj: Welcome To Access Beyond
Date: 96-11-25 21:25:32 EST
From: Ron 9010
Posted on: America Online
I am Ron Howard, Chairman of Access Beyonds
I try to answer questions, when I am able and permitted (not in a quiet period), so please feel free to post questions. To further your understanding of the company, you should access our web site at www.accessbeyond.com -- through it, you can meet our management, see our products, retrieve all of our press releases and public filings, even talk (via voice over the internet) to our tech support group!
Shortly after today, but beginning with today's analyst conference call, we will place a recording of our analyst calls on our web site in a form that allows you to listen to the actual analyst calls. In this way, you will be able to hear the substance of such calls for yourself.
Best Wishes to all...
This post, all of it, represents an excellent sign of things to come for investors everywhere. Our Foolish caps are off to Mr. Howard and his firm for embracing the coming future earlier than most. It's a future where public companies are as public as the highways that take you to grandmother's house for Thanksgiving. And that type of future is highly Foolish. Information represents power, and the more freely that power can be spread about, the better for everyone.
Another example of Foolishness from the Fool boards comes from a company called Laser Visions Centers, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVCI), which recently posted this in its board:
"Laser Vision Centers, Inc. will regularly monitor this board and will respond to all legitimate requests for information on the company. We will not disclose information that has not been previously disclosed through other, required, legal channels. We will not speculate on areas that would provide AOL subscribers an unfair advantage. We will not discuss other companies in this or other industries. We will, however, attempt to answer your investor relations questions in the same manner we do for direct inquiries to our corporate office. Mr. John J. Klobnak, CEO of LVCI has agreed to answer questions on-line this week. Mr. Klobnak will not be able to keep up a running dialogue, due to scheduling demands, however, I will attempt to provide answers on a regular basis. We hope you understand our limitations and respect them.
John A. Stiles
Director of Corporate Communications
Laser Vision Centers, Inc.
Okay, they lay out the rules and are ready to serve. As the days and weeks go by, they'll probably become a bit more Foolish, lighten up, crack jokes, you know... Either way, it's great to have them aboard and see them serving the investing public. These are both great examples of much more good to come, and Foolish investors can be thankful for yet another thing this year: all the change that is going their way.
As for Fool stocks: a quick glance through yesterday's Investor's Business Daily shows that both America Online (NYSE: AOL) and Iomega (NYSE: IOM) are two of the most heavily shorted stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (it's interesting to remember these were both Nasdaq stocks at the beginning of this year). As of November 15, America Online showed 22.3 million shares sold short, and Iomega 25.5 million shares sold short. These numbers represent about 23% and 20% of each company's available shares. It's good to see this, actually. The big number of shorts means there aren't many shares available for shorting anymore, and the shorts represent buying power at some point.
Speaking of America Online, Investor's Business Daily had a straight-forward and often educational piece about the company today in the "Excecutive Update" section. The paper writes of the company's accounting practices, cash-flow, and defines free cash-flow quite well. It's a useful read, well worth a gander.
Finally, some Fools have been talking about significant insider selling at Iomega. The lastest numbers I can write about were released November 7th. In October four insiders sold about 400,000 shares total. First, that may sound like a large amount of shares to you or me (at least to me it sure does), but for officers and VP's and directors, it's not much. That's not the point, though: the point is, all the sales were options-related sales except one. Options-related sales of course represent little to nothing about what the folks think of the stock or the company. These are merely "triggered" sales in most cases. The one straight stock sale was by a director who sold 60,000 shares around $22.50. That's only 1.5 million bucks and he still holds 355,000 shares, or about $8 million worth of the stock. Maybe he sold in preparation for Christmas.
ATC Communications (ATCT) followers have written about insider activity there, as well. The latest I saw was the chairman bought 43,000 shares between November 8th and 12th, at costs between $14.77 and $15.75.
Let's end with a bad Thanksgiving joke: A group of turkeys were sitting around a campfire one night, roasting marshmallows. One turkey looked across the fire and said to his friend, "Hey Bobby, it looks like you have some marshmallow hanging off your chin." The irony, of course, is turkeys don't have chins.
It's bad. I told you. It's really bad.
Our "Golden Turkey Award" goes to KLA Instruments (KLAC) today, which fell $1 1/8 to $34.75, giving back some recent gains. While 3Com (COMS) continued to rise, gaining $1 7/8 today. That stock has been anything but a turkey.
Have a Foolish evening, and a great Thanksgiving....
Stock Change Bid ------------------- AOL --- 32.63 T + 3/4 38.38 ATCT - 3/4 15.38 CHV + 1/8 67.88 GM + 1/4 58.38 IOM - 3/8 22.13 KLAC -1 1/8 34.75 LU - 3/4 51.88 MMM -1 1/8 83.75 QDEK --- 5.13 COMS +1 7/8 75.75
Day Month Year History FOOL -0.59% 6.88% 55.08% 189.57% S&P 500 -0.14% 7.19% 22.73% 64.91% NASDAQ +0.06% 4.89% 21.77% 77.90% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 22.13 778.34% 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 32.63 348.58% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 75.75 61.65% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 67.88 34.98% 9/27/96 -890 Quarterdec 7.08 5.13 27.65% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 83.75 27.52% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 58.38 12.32% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 51.88 8.94% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 38.38 -3.04% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 34.75 -22.28% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 15.38 -32.97% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 44471.25 $39408.12 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 22185.00 $17239.44 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 18937.50 $7222.51 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8484.38 $2198.77 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9212.50 $1988.06 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 16345.00 $1792.51 9/27/96 -890 Quarterdec -6304.75 -4561.25 $1743.50 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 2178.75 $178.87 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 4988.75 -$156.36 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 4517.50 -$1294.99 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 9225.00 -$4536.50 CASH $8801.62 TOTAL $144786.00 Transmitted: 11/26/96