Fool Portfolio Report
Tuesday, February 25, 1997
by Rick Aristotle Munarriz (MF Edible)

MIAMI, FL. (Feb. 25, 1997) -- Why are we here? If our megaphone blares out the merits of long-term investing why are we here, today, talking about today, only to be here, again, tomorrow, talking about tomorrow? Daily dissection. Wondering if four months of formaldehyde has lulled the FoolPort to sleep forever. Sliced open yet where is our heart? Where the heck is our backbone? Are we the smelly frog unkissed on Prince Street? Will somebody please stitch us back together and toss us into a pond.

Why are we here? Why pitch our tent here every trading day come dusk and rattle off old campfire stories? For the same reason we were here yesterday, the pursuit of Foolishness. Edutainment is never-ending. You see, this is more than just how many ways we can say General Motors (NYSE: GM) is up $1/2, but rather how many teachings we can tie to that very fact. Speculative ticker tape watchers or relentless purveyors of interactive education? You decide, but we have failed if you fancy us the former. Accountability finds us here too because tracking Iomega from a potty-trained toddler to a senior citizen and then back to a teenager, pricewise, makes for a much more compelling history lesson as it happens.

Why are you here? Is it the driving need to slow down at a car wreck to sneak a peak at what has become of yesteryear's speedster? Is it gagging on Alphabet Soup once you try to swallow down the 25th letter in the series? Y? Why? Why and see! Clickable caring. Today matters even if it amounts to little more than a slivered tile of marble in a much larger mosaic. As the limbo rod continues to head lower on ATC Communications (NASDAQ: ATCT) have we learned a new dance? Has 3Com (NASDAQ: COMS) gone Defcon? The answers are probably as important as the sense of community you may have found here. The idea of explaining without condescending may be heresy in the financial services industry but it is commonplace here. Our goal is enlightenment but imperfect Fools as we are, we find not only that knowledge flows both ways but that we have probably learned more from you than you have from us.

Who am I? I am just the food guy, here to oversee the modest realm of digestibles in the industrial village. That should be obvious given my screen name, except for those pesky dinner invitations I get from a tribe of cannibals. I came here with a slingshot and have walked away with a cannon. No weaponry here, just mind power, a mental cannonball tugging on a rubberband. It’s the kind of gratitude that brings me back to smooch this Blarney Stone, daily, this time with graffiti markers. Blasphemy to bring the food guy here? The FoolPort owns companies that makes computer chips not potato chips? Here, I disagree. I say all of the portfolio holdings are food stocks. They feed your mind. It’s food for thought in the truest sense of the cliche. Some are banquets, others are still reeling from indigestion, but they were all consumed and they all came with tableside lessons. One may very well have learned more from Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC) than from Iomega (NASDAQ: IOM) and isn't that why we all put in the long hours here in this virtual ivory tower in the first place?

I also have the honor of having the liberal use of plus signs given a healthy 1.62% gain in FoolPort today. A day of outperformance this year is always welcome, as the S&P, Nasdaq and Dow were all up marginally. So, accept this lowly food guy when I bring good news and dub this a food sector portfolio...

America Online (NYSE: AOL) found plenty on their plate and rose nicely after they struck a deal that will allow Tel-Save Holdings to peddle their long-distance services to AOL’s customer base. Subscribers will be able to register and review their usage online. Ultimately you would have to pick up a receiver to place your calls, unlike the questionable quality of the many internet phone software programs, but the point is not so much whether or not you will sign up for this service when it is available as early as this summer. No, the beauty is that Tel-Save paid AOL an initial payment of $100 million, with more to come if AOL phone jockeys sign up in droves. This is just another step in AOL's move to capitalize off their huge subscriber base. Quite tasty exploitation if you ask me.

And, c'mon, perennial blue chip food stock 3M (NYSE: MMM) soared $3 1/2 today to a new all-time high. What? Not a food stock? Post-It Notes aren't edible? Well, you just say that ticker symbol a few times fast and then tell me the kitchen isn't working on something scrumptious.

Don't look now but side dish ATC Communications was also up today, even if only $1/16, but it props the stock up $7/16 from penny stock status. The carnage is not pretty, this frog should probably have been left on the biology class lab table with the initial buy decision cottonballed. Figure that an initial investment more than two times what we put into Iomega (NYSE: IOM) is now valued at 1/10th that of our stake in the Roy, Utah, Zip Drive maker.

So, back to the dissection, could the moral of the story be any clearer: One has to kiss a lot of ATC Communications and Sonic Solutions to land an Iomega.

(c) Copyright 1997, The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. This material is for personal use only. Republication and redissemination, including posting to news groups, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of The Motley Fool.

TODAY'S NUMBERS


Stock Change Bid -------------------- AOL +2 1/8 36.63 T + 1/8 41.25 ATCT + 1/16 5.44 CHV +1 5/8 68.00 GM + 1/2 59.63 IOM - 1/8 16.13 KLAC - 7/8 44.13 LU --- 58.75 MMM +3 1/2 90.00 NCR - 5/8 35.50 COMS + 1/2 39.13
Day Month Year History FOOL +1.62% -8.89% -7.12% 147.89% S&P: +0.22% 3.30% 9.63% 77.16% NASDAQ: +0.19% -2.33% 4.39% 87.13% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 16.13 540.14% 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 36.63 403.58% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 90.00 37.03% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 68.00 35.23% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 58.75 23.38% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 59.63 14.72% 1/2/97 8 NCR 33.63 35.50 5.58% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 41.25 4.23% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 44.13 -1.31% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 39.13 -16.51% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 5.44 -76.29% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 32411.25 $27348.12 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 24905.00 $19959.44 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9900.00 $2675.56 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8500.00 $2214.39 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 16695.00 $2142.51 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 2467.50 $467.62 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 5362.50 $217.39 1/2/97 8 NCR 269.00 284.00 $15.00 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 5736.25 -$76.24 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 9781.25 -$1933.74 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 3262.50-$10499.00 CASH $4639.01 TOTAL $123944.26