Fool Portfolio Report
Wednesday, July 9, 1997
David Gardner (MotleyFool)
ALEXANDRIA, VA, July 9, 1997 -- Another very Foolish day of July investing. At present, in fact, the month of July has been outstanding for us. The Fool Portfolio has returned 6.57 percent in 5 1/2 days of July trading. That's against a 3.09 percent return for the Nasdaq, and a slightly worse S&P 500, up 2.53 percent.
We dipped back a little into recent history today, and made an interesting discovery. Namely, we discovered that we haven't been able to BUY a victory over both indices for a few months now. I mean, look at us! We beat the Nasdaq but not the S&P in April, did the reverse in May, then lost to both in June. In fact, you have to go back to those pre-baseball days of March, as our Virginia temperatures still hung in the 30's, to find the last time we took out both market averages.
Indeed, further research led to the discovery that I led off the first day of that winning month with a report entitled -- oh, what a coincidence... the exact same title as today's report: "Yah! Yah! Yah!" In it, I re-evoked the image of the Chuck Wagon dog food TV commercials of the late 70's depicting the tiny cowboy shouting and whipping his miniature horse-drawn wagon, that big hungry dog padding along behind it. You remember that guy? Heck, I remember him better than ever today.
Now far be it from me to act based on superstition, which of course I would never do. It would have to be mere happenstance that has our report similarly entitled. I mean, there's no way we'd be so desperate to beat the market averages again that we'd stoop to rehash a successful old March article in this space. You're here to read fresh stuff. New insights. Of course.
Today's top insight has been inspired by AMERICA ONLINE's (NYSE:AOL) continuing rise, up yet another $2 7/8 today to close at $68 7/16. The stock is nearing its all-time high of $70, and has almost tripled in the past several months. The insight comes in the form of the excellent analysis of AOL provided by our own Randy Befumo (in last night's Evening News, entitled AOL Keeps Connections). Randy, considered by many one of America's top analysts on this company, writes of the company's shift in business toward advertising and transactions. The latter has been on display recently, with deals inked with Amazon.com and 1-800-FLOWERS that bring cash directly to AOL's bottom line. Given this success with electronic commerce, Randy points out that, "Should the company move to 10 to 11 million subscribers this year as planned, $1000 per sub -- half of the current cable subscriber valuations, a medium where direct purchase is more difficult -- would put the company at around $87 1/2 per share over the next 12 to 18 months."
If you're at all interested in AOL as an investor or a shareholder, take the time to click the hyperlink included above and check out Randy's excellent analysis.
The Fool Portfolio also benefited from a move up in Innovex (up $3/8 to bid $29 1/8 -- a new Fool high) and a strong move all day long from 3Com (up $2 5/8 to $52 5/8 -- like AOL, this one's a double in recent months). Not even an oh-for-four performance from our Foolish Four stocks could stop the Fool chuck wagon today.
Changing gears to a matter of interest to online users, my short paragraph full of Sturm und Drang about junk e-mail in Monday's report hit a resonant chord with many of you. I received a few notes with helpful suggestions, which I want to close with tonight because hey, I figure you feel the same way I do about this stuff.
A Foolish regular on our Web site, Philip Sorensen of Advanced Technology Innovations in Arlington, Virginia, passed on a Web link of potential interest: http://www.cix.co.uk/~net-services/spam/. Here's how the developers describe this free software: "Get lots of e-mail offering you get-rich-quick schemes? Want to hit back? 'Spam Hater' (Now at V2.04) is free Windows software that helps you respond effectively and makes it hot for these people..." That said, when I click the darned site it just didn't come up today. (Spammed to death?)
Bryon Daly, another inveterate contributor to our Web message boards, pointed out the existence of a group called The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (CAUCE). Bry writes: "They are currently involved in lobbying Congress on the issue (Congress is considering 2 different alternative pieces of legislation on this issue). You can find their web page at http://www.cauce.org, and get more info and join if you like (I did)."
I myself haven't yet tried either of these suggestions, as we're deep in the midst of creating our second book (most time-consuming!). But I thank both for their ideas.
Yah! Yah! Yah!
--- David Gardner, July 9, 1997
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Fribble -- A fun, quick story from readers.
Stock Change Bid ---------------- AOL +2 7/8 68.44 T - 13/16 35.63 ATCT - 1/16 4.75 CHV -1 3/8 74.38 DJT + 3/16 10.06 GM - 7/8 55.81 INVX + 3/8 29.13 IOM - 1/4 20.69 KLAC - 9/16 54.13 LU + 3/16 76.06 MMM - 3/8 102.69 COMS +2 5/8 52.63Day Month Year History FOOL +0.45% 6.57% 12.39% 199.95% S&P: -1.22% 2.53% 22.52% 97.98% NASDAQ: +0.10% 3.09% 15.15% 106.42% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 68.44 841.37% 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2.52 20.69 720.93% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 76.06 59.74% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 102.69 56.35% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 74.38 47.91% 8/24/95 130 KLA Tencor 44.71 54.13 21.05% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 52.63 12.30% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 55.81 7.39% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 29.13 5.11% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 35.63 -9.99% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 10.06 -18.82% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 4.75 -79.29% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 24295.31 $21713.44 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2594.53 20273.75 $17679.22 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 11295.63 $4071.19 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 9296.88 $3011.27 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 13156.25 $1441.26 8/24/95 130 KLA Tencor 5812.49 7036.25 $1223.76 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3194.63 $1194.75 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 15627.50 $1075.01 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 9465.63 $460.00 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 4631.25 -$513.86 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -11773.13 -$1864.63 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 2850.00-$10911.50 CASH $40625.59 TOTAL $149975.53