CHICAGO, IL (Nov. 18, 1997) -- The Fool Port had some of the wind taken from its wings today as the market gently blew south. No one likes to see their portfolio lose altitude, but we'll take the 0.76% loss when the S&P and Nasdaq dove 0.84% and 0.85% respectively. Fools consider the broad market's performance the benchmark we should be aiming to beat. Just like many schools grade on a curve, we too care more about the relative performance than the absolute results. We may have nudged out the market today, but we still have a few percentage points and 6 weeks to go before the Fool Port can claim its fourth year of market-beating results.
We can thank Foolish Four holding AT&T (NYSE: T) for most of the market-besting performance today as the stock ratcheted up nearly a $4 gain. Not too shabby a day from a sleepy old giant. Having the Port's lone short, Trump (NYSE: DJT), cough up a fractional loss also helped the cause.
Has anyone else noticed that lately Trump has been making ample time cruising the talk-show circuit in order to heavily promote his new book? Seems every time I flip on the tube I see Donald sitting there talking about the virtues of a prenuptial agreement. Heck, it looks like an interesting enough read that I might just surf on over to Fool Port holding Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and order a copy for myself! I have little doubt Trump's book will sell well, but I also have to wonder exactly how much time Da Donald is putting into his casino company.
3Com (Nasdaq: COMS) took a little bit of a breather today after yesterday's $3 plus rise. There were many, many announcements from 3Com this week that seemed to all have the same theme. Put the following phrases together as 3Com has this week and you get a tasty recipe sure to bring some relief to an ailing stock:
"MVP Award Winners."
"Better than Cisco."
This weekend I had a funny conversation with a good friend of mine that works at 3Com. I called him up and asked, "Hey, what the heck is going on with 3Com and their stock?" He sarcastically replied, "I was hoping you could tell me!"
I then told him about the stories I had read about potential inventory problems and the accusations of channel stuffing and funky accounting that were swirling around the company after the US Robotics merger. He told me about some of the morale problems around the company after the acquisition. He also said that he thought Robotics had been more "bought out" than "merged" and that 3Com was coming in and "changing everything." Such corporate culture clashes are common after a major merger, so what he said did not really surprise me. We both agreed that there were definitely some short-term problems at the company, but we also came to the conclusion that over the longer term 3Com is extremely solid and should fare well.
Notwithstanding our agreement in opinion, there is a bit of dissention among the Fool Port ranks concerning 3Com's future prospects. I sense that there will be a very public duel about 3Com coming in a few weeks.
As I was waking up this morning, I heard through partial consciousness the newscaster on my clock radio mumble something about, "America Online is going through yet more growing pains as customers complain about not getting through. Blah Blah Blah." Sure enough, as I tried to log on this morning, I had problems. It seems that an email server on the fritz closed the service down to new logins for an hour and a half. Annoying? Absolutely. Time to dump the stock? No way.
Bless us all if we could be so unfortunate as America Online (NYSE: AOL) to have the problem of too many customers. AOL announced Monday that it surpassed the 10 million-member mark. The negative PR received today is not exactly a positive thing, but my contrarian take thinks it proves exactly how deep into our culture AOL has embedded itself, especially if a minor service disruption in the morning made headlines. AOL's stock got disconnected for a two-buck loss today.
That's about it in Fool Port news for the day. Make sure to click back tomorrow as the one and only TMF Edible takes the reins here.
--Paul Larson (TMF Parlay)
Today's FoolWatch: all the latest in Fooldom.
Day Month Year History FOOL -0.76% -0.70% 23.22% 228.84% S&P: -0.84% 2.58% 26.66% 104.67% NASDAQ: -0.85% 0.43% 23.97% 122.23% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2.52 31.00 1130.16% 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 74.06 918.34% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 83.44 75.23% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 82.56 64.19% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 94.13 43.32% 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 38.22 52.88 38.34% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 52.50 32.65% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 61.38 18.09% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 43.63 -2.43% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 8.88 -4.80% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 25.00 -9.78% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 33.50 -28.51% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2509.60 30380.00 $27870.40 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 26292.19 $23710.32 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 11084.24 15333.75 $4249.51 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 10320.31 $4034.70 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 10353.75 $3129.31 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 17185.00 $2632.51 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 6825.00 $1679.89 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3504.38 $1504.50 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 5671.25 -$141.24 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -10383.75 -$475.25 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 8125.00 -$880.62 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 8375.00 -$3339.99 CASH $32438.81 TOTAL $164420.69