Fool Portfolio Report
Friday, December 20, 1996
by Selena Maranjian (MF Selena)
ALEXANDRIA, VA., December 20, 1996 -- Where I grew up, Santa didn't arrive through the chimney. No one had chimneys. Even today, with the temperatures in the 30s here in Virginia, my hometown is basking in sunny 70-degree weather. (I know this because USA Today's website offers me 5-day forecasts for Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.) I remember those Wintry days. Sometimes, the temperatures would dip down into the 60s, and mom would drive us to school.
Despite the somewhat exotic Middle-Eastern setting, our band of merry Americans and other non-Muslims living in the small, culturally-hybrid enclave managed to make Christmas happen. Surrounded on the outskirts by minarets, with muezzins regularly calling the faithful to prayer, we decorated the town with reindeer on rooftops, staged a spectacular nativity pageant (complete with real camels and donkeys), and awaited Santa's arrival. Sometimes he arrived via camel or donkey. Other times, he arrived by helicopter. (Actually, I've just been informed that in the forties, he arrived via a U.S. Army B-17 bomber and DC-3. He used a sled pulled by twelve donkeys in 1956, a fire truck in 1962, and arrived on foot in 1961. Other forms of transportation used include a boat, Kenworth tractor, bus and car.)
Once he was amongst us, those urchins not too frightened of him would get to recite wish lists for him.
That was then, though, and this is now. Today, no longer sure how to reach Santa, as I'm averse to malls, I'm resorting to posting my gift wish list here online. Am I nuts? Not at all. I did my homework. Santa is indeed hooked up to cyberspace, like the rest of us. I checked the web for a North Pole website and voila -- there it was!
Anyway. On to the wishing.
I hereby wish for John Irving to publish a new book soon. And for Barbara Cartland, dictating away while under fluffy, ruffled bedcovers next to her poodle, to publish fewer books. And for that guy who wrote The Bridges of Madison County to find a new line of work.
I wish that all potholes across the country would disappear by tomorrow morning.
I wish that all Fool Portfolio holdings would post earnings as robust as those of 3Com, which beat estimates by five cents last night, reporting $0.60 per share excluding a one-time charge. The computing networking company's operating profits are up 71%. Apparently, SoundView analyst Michael Karfopoulos was also impressed, as he raised his earnings per share (EPS) estimates for 3Com up for fiscal 1997 and 1998 and also reiterated his short- and long-term "buy" ratings. The stock was busy today, trading at roughly 9 million shares (vs. the usual 3.7 million), but ended unchanged, bidding $76 3/4.
I hope that all the Poles who bought shiny new General Motors cars in the past year enjoy many years of hassle-free driving. Why? Well the word today from Warsaw was that new car sales in Poland popped up 40% for the year-to-date, the most impressive such jump in all of Europe. (For the Cliff Clavins out there, in second and third place were Norway (35%) and Ireland (32%), respectively.) Surely excited by this news out of Europe, investors pushed shares of General Motors up $1/2 to $55 today.
I wish I had some Alka Seltzer, because we just had a Christmas pizza party at Fool HQ and I consumed more than I was meant to consume.
I wish a continued successful career to Jeet Bindra, who has been tapped to succeed Joe Martinelli as President of the Chevron Pipe Line Co. A member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute, Mr. Bindra has also served on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. No Fool scoffs at attention to quality. Chevron was unchanged today, resting at $65 7/8 on double normal volume.
I wish for peace. Peace in Bosnia. Peace in the Middle East. Peace (and sense and compassion) in Congress. Peace in families and relationships. Peace of mind for all. Peace wherever there is a dearth of peace.
I hope for a good sale on raspberries. I hope that Tice's Farm near the "Last Exit in New Jersey" is still selling candied apples. I hope that despite whatever nefarious havoc global warming wreaks, that Fall always offers its unique smell of decomposing leaves. A smell just departed, but not forgotten.
I wish for recognition for the Fool's crack team of industry experts. Most of them have toiled long and hard in corners of Fooldom, appreciated by many, but unnoticed by many more. Fool HQ is pleased as punch that we're finally offering a product which showcases their talents. In Industrial Evolution, 18 of these Fools take a look at the year ahead for their respective industries, and also discuss a stock which seems especially compelling to them.
Lest they be forgotten, I further wish that our myriad quietly-working-behind-the-scenes Fools also feel appreciated. Because they really are. Whether their appointed duty is to be a presence in message folders "Pb-Pe," to change headlines every day, to edit miles and miles of Foolish wordage, to mail out weekly or daily reports, or to host chats in the evenings, these are dedicated Fools one and all, and without them we would be one sorry online forum.
I wish you happy and prosperous "gold digging" this weekend. The Fool aims to please, and thus we're offering a full plate of perhaps wish-fulfilling goods for you to survey over the weekend. In our regular weekend feature, Fool's Gold, is a Sector Snapshot on the vast Teleservices industry, written by MF Nexus 6. This includes MF BudFox's updated look at recently-beleaguered Fool Port holding ATC Communications. Also noteworthy in Fooltown is a new stock purchase for the Boring Portfolio.
I wish for some great shows on TV. I'm thankful for "Homicide" and "the Simpsons," but I miss "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd," "Moonlighting," "Homefront," "Northern Exposure," and "China Beach." If only there were more shows of their caliber, maybe I'd be able to read fewer books and socialize less. Oh well.
I wish for another Iomega -- a stock that will skyrocket for me. But that's just my base, un-Foolish, nature doing the wishing. When I put on my velvet belled cap, I suddenly realize that an Iomega is a lot to wish for, and that such stocks are rare. With the S&P 500 offering only about 10% per year on average for the past 60 years, and the Dow Dividend Approach offering around 20%, I should be really happy with 30%. Or with the 46% that this trusty Fool Port has risen in the year-to-date.
And finally, let me close here with a wish for merry holidays for all -- and to all a good night!
Stock Change Bid -------------------- AOL --- 35.88 T --- 39.50 ATCT - 3/8 12.75 CHV --- 65.88 GM + 1/2 55.00 IOM - 5/8 18.13 KLAC -1 1/8 35.63 LU - 1/4 47.13 MMM +2 1/2 84.75 COMS --- 76.75
Day Month Year History FOOL -0.89% -6.42% 46.37% 173.32% S&P 500 +0.42% -1.08% 21.58% 63.37% NASDAQ -0.56% -0.31% 22.47% 78.92% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 18.13 619.54% 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 35.88 393.27% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 76.75 63.79% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 65.88 31.00% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 84.75 29.04% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 55.00 5.82% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 39.50 -0.20% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 47.13 -1.03% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 35.63 -20.32% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 12.75 -44.41% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 36431.25 $31368.12 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 24395.00 $19449.44 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 19187.50 $7472.51 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9322.50 $2098.06 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8234.38 $1948.77 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 15400.00 $847.51 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 5135.00 -$10.11 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 1979.25 -$20.63 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 4631.25 -$1181.24 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 7650.00 -$6111.50 CASH $4291.89 TOTAL $136658.02 Transmitted: 12/20/96