Fool Portfolio Report
Friday, December 5, 1997
by Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMFEdible@aol.com)


MIAMI, FL (Dec. 5, 1997) -- I love this time of year. It's a calendar looking for closure. Just hand me the remote control and I am a made man. On CNBC I know that every other sentence will include the phrases "tax-loss selling" or "window dressing." If I am really lucky, I'll hear the word "frothy" twice in the same hour. Maybe I will use the word frothy twice in this recap. Well, I guess I just -- oh, never mind. CNBC and CNNfn matter of course. Where else is a cable surfer going to find out that the S&P 500 rose 3.0% this week while the Nasdaq Composite gained 2.1%. The modest Foolfolio wedged itself snugly in between with a 2.8% showing.

Today belonged to us though. With a 1.98% showing we took the gold -- the medal, not the metal that is trading at a 12-year low. The Nasdaq took the silver with a 1.27% spurt while the S&P was a reluctant bronze with a 1.1% rise. Today's relative outperformance was fueled mostly by America Online (NYSE: AOL) finding a new institutional believer in Raymond James. The stock shot up $2 1/2 on the day. The world's largest online service has been winning over brokerage house heavies lately. UBS Securities also upgraded the company this week. It's nice to like AOL here in the $80s. Even better to know that the Fool liked it three years ago when it picked up these very same shares at a split and commission adjusted $7.27 a pop.

But it is the weekend, so click away, but try to avoid the investment-based programming euphoria on other networks as the year comes to a close. Oh, nice, MTV is getting ready for the new year by showing old Van Halen videos in honor of the Roth IRA. Click. Is that a bear on the Discovery Channel? Wait, it's wearing a monogrammed chain. A A. Interesting. Click. PBS. Hey, Barney really does love me.

Granted, taking in some serious tube may belittle a very important FoolPort tidbit. For the first time since shorting Trump Hotels & Casinos (NYSE: DJT) back in the spring, the portfolio's wager is off the red and onto the black. Shares of the debt-heavy gaming company took a hit this week when Standard & Poor's lowered its credit rating on Trump's debt from B+ to B-. As a parent you may dismiss the report card as nothing more than a passing grade. However, the investment community is not as forgiving.

Wall Street does not grade on a curve. By saying that the company's word to repay debt holds a little less weight a few things will happen. The already massive $1.7 billion in corporate borrowings will no doubt be subjected to a higher coupon rate when the time comes to renew. S&P is saying the company is riskier. Creditors will expect to be compensated with higher interest payments.

And the timing, for those long Da Donald, couldn't be worse. This comes during a week when Trump is hoping to complete yet another debt offering for $100 million. Why the bigger burden? Can a company be both sadistic and masochistic if it wants to bring on another $10-$12 million in annual interest expense? Has S&P met S&M? If the company is still set on selling off the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, why panhandle? There are few things more unforgivable than being a rudderless public company. But, if you have to be sans direction, at least learn how to swim. Drowning in debt makes for a messy autopsy.

No, I didn't click on a Quincy rerun festival on FX. I'm numb on the Weather Channel right now. But on a literary note, this week Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) struck a deal with Geocities. I was one of the early residents of www.geocities.com. There goes that neighborhood. One might say I was a gold mining pioneer who heard the whispers of "Go Net Young Man." My move to Geocities was short-lived. Back then it was just a few communities with a few thousand homesteads handed out. CMG Information (Nasdaq: CMGI) had just taken a stake in the company, and I figured if a publicly traded venture capital company wanted in, maybe I wanted in too.

I have long since abandoned my free abode. In September there were 477 million page views out there. I guess I missed the spinning population sign on my way out. For a stock that was bid up after striking similar deals with search engines like Yahoo! and Excite, I think this is an even bigger catch for Amazon.com.

Internet users go to Yahoo! knowing exactly what they are looking for. Hyperlinks may be distractions unless it happens to be a specific text-based product one is looking for. However, at Geocities, one is there to check up on a personal webpage, with maybe a little more time and freedom to follow the bread crumbs that lead to the Amazon house of candy. I guess maybe this is the weekend I will head back to the old neighborhood -- if only to see if they have bulldozed my flat in favor of a quickie mart.

Click. Tarzan. The loinclothed vine swinger who didn't have to watch out for that tree. Watch out for that -- splat -- tree. Innovex (Nasdaq: INVX) found Cheetah this week. Seagate (NYSE: SEG) made a rumble in the jungle when it chose Innovex and its HIF technology for its line of Cheetah drives. Granted, the storage devices are named after the speedy spotted felines, not Tarzan's chimp buddy, because they are revolutionarily fast disk drives. Still, me Tarzan, you Capital Gains.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Mom!

--Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)

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TODAY'S NUMBERS

Stock Change Bid ---------------- AMZN + 7/8 54.63 AOL +2 1/2 84.38 T - 1/2 57.38 CHV +1 5/8 79.25 DJT - 1/4 7.88 GM +1 11/16 63.25 INVX - 3/8 22.00 IOM + 3/8 31.19 KLAC +2 13/16 40.38 LU +1 13/16 81.00 MMM - 3/8 96.56 COMS +2 7/16 36.31
Day Month Year History FOOL +1.98% 2.77% 27.52% 240.32% S&P: +1.10% 2.97% 32.81% 114.61% NASDAQ: +1.27% 2.08% 26.56% 126.87% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2.52 31.19 1137.60% 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 84.38 1060.13% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 81.00 70.11% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 79.25 57.60% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 96.56 47.03% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 57.38 44.97% 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 38.22 54.63 42.92% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 63.25 21.70% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 7.88 7.01% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 40.38 -9.70% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 22.00 -20.61% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 36.31 -22.51% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2509.60 30563.75 $28054.15 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 29953.13 $27371.26 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 11084.24 15841.25 $4757.01 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 9906.25 $3620.64 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 10621.88 $3397.44 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 17710.00 $3157.51 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 7458.75 $2313.64 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3402.00 $1402.12 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -9213.75 $694.75 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 5248.75 -$563.74 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 7150.00 -$1855.62 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 9078.13 -$2636.87 CASH $32438.81 TOTAL $170158.94