Fool Portfolio Report
Thursday, February 26, 1998
by Paul Larson (TMFParlay@aol.com)

Chicago, IL (Feb. 26, 1998) -- Today the Fool Port was as warm as an El Nino winter. Forget warm, the port was smokin' today. How does a 3.05% jump forward sound for one day? Six of the fifteen stocks were up over a buck today. Woo hoo!

There was not a whole lot of news to discuss, though. Let's dig into what little was going on. America Online (NYSE: AOL) was in the news with some interesting bits of information for Fools everywhere. It was announced this morning that AOL has signed an agreement with Bloomberg to provide content for AOL's personal finance site. For those AOL users who lamented when Dow Jones took up stakes and left the site, lament no more. Bloomberg will bring quite a presence to AOL's finance area. Welcome to the AOL-partners club, Bloomberg!

Let me steal a paragraph from today's AOL press release:

"AOL's Personal Finance Channel is one of the service's most popular Channels, increasing its traffic by 70% in the last year. According to Media Metrix research, the Channel serves five million regular users, or more than three times as many users as the top three Web-based financial sites combined. The Channel maintains over six million active investment portfolios and generates over 13 million financial graphs per month for AOL users. An average of 630,000 users access the Quotes & Portfolios area each trading day -- with that number growing by an average of 10,000 new users of the area each day. "

Am I the only one that looks at these factoids with some sort of fascination? Here's another factoid on the wire from Media Metrix that had me spellbound: "58.3% of all time spent on either the WWW or online from home is spent with AOL." Wow. Apparently some others were also impressed as AOL was up another $4 13/16 today to $123 3/4.

It looks like Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) will have some more competition down the road. It was reported today that the huge German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG plans to enter the market with a global electronic bookstore tentatively called "Books Online." While Bertelsmann is late into the game, the stack of chips it brings to the table is unmatched since the company already has an extensive distribution network and database of customers. Should Amazon be worried? The market certainly didn't think so today since it bid Amazon up over 10% to a new all-time high close of $72 3/4.

Trump (NYSE: DJT) is scheduled to report earnings sometime next week. The mean analyst estimate now sits at a $0.72 per share loss for the quarter, the company's seasonal weakest. However, the standard deviation on that estimate is quite high at $0.11. This means that there are a wide range of estimates for the company. It's not that the analysts disagree on the company's prospects. Rather, Trump is so highly leveraged that the tiniest change in top-line performance translates into a huge swing in the bottom line. In any case, it will be interesting to see what Trump reports when the numbers are finally crunched and released. I'm betting that the $0.72 loss is a bit optimistic, but I'm just a Fool.

If you haven't already, make sure to check out yesterday's Foolish Four column. For the first time it provided some solid evidence of what we had suspected all along -- changing from 12 to 18 months for the Fool Four method really has very little impact on the overall performance of the approach. In fact, the data seems to show that holding 18 months may actually slightly increase the overall return. We switched over for the tax benefits originally, but the surplus historical performance of the new holding period is a welcome surprise.

To wrap up this short recap with something totally unrelated to the portfolio, am I the only one amazed that this weekend it will be March already? Cowabunga! And another thing, what ever happened to winter? It's 62 degrees in Chicago today and we haven't had a flake of snow on the ground in a month. Go figure.

-Paul Larson

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TODAY'S NUMBERS

Stock Change Bid ---------------- AMZN +7 1/16 72.75 AOL +4 13/16 123.75 T + 7/16 62.25 DD +1 7/8 61.69 DJT - 1/8 9.69 XON + 7/16 63.06 INVX --- 23.19 IP - 7/16 46.94 IOM + 1/8 9.19 KLAC +2 1/16 47.94 LU +2 15/16 109.06 COMS + 1/16 35.19 TDFX + 9/16 24.06 SPY + 11/16 105.22
Day Month Year History FOOL +3.05% 13.28% 6.70% 258.10% S&P: +0.55% 6.97% 8.06% 128.76% NASDAQ: +0.60% 9.74% 13.17% 146.76% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 123.75 1601.53% 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 1.28 9.19 617.54% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 109.06 129.04% 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 38.22 72.75 90.34% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 62.25 57.29% 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 95.91 105.22 9.71% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 47.94 7.22% 2/20/98 215 DuPont 59.83 61.69 3.10% 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 47.69 46.94 -1.58% 2/20/98 200 Exxon 64.09 63.06 -1.60% 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 25.67 24.06 -6.25% 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* 8.47 9.69 -14.39% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 23.19 -16.32% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 35.19 -24.92% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 43931.25 $41349.38 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 2509.60 18007.50 $15497.90 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 11084.24 21097.50 $10013.26 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 8092.50 $2947.39 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 4580.63 $2580.75 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 11029.25 12100.16 $1070.91 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 6231.88 $419.39 2/20/98 215 DuPont 12864.25 13262.81 $398.56 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 12876.75 12673.13 -$203.63 2/20/98 200 Exxon 12818.00 12612.50 -$205.50 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 10908.63 10226.56 -$682.06 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -11334.38 -$1425.88 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 7535.94 -$1469.68 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11715.99 8796.88 -$2919.12 CASH $11233.54 TOTAL $179048.38