<THE RULE MAKER PORTFOLIO>
By Phil Weiss (TMF Grape)
TOWACO, NJ (June 3, 1999) -- This week, we've been taking you on tours of company websites, which are an outstanding resource for investors seeking to learn more about a company and its products. On Tuesday, Al toured Microsoft's site. Last night, Matt took a walk at the site of the Cisco Kid. Tonight, I'll be finishing our coverage of the home pages of our high tech troika, as I take a look at Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC) site: www.intel.com.
One thing that is pretty clear from what I've read about Intel is that the company views the Internet as an important part of its future. As a matter of fact, I recall reading that the company expects 40% of this year's revenues to come via the Web. Even based on last year's sales of about $26 billion, that would be over $10 billion of e-commerce. That's a pretty impressive number.
Let me begin with a broad overview of Intel's site, which is basically broken up into five sections. The first, Developer, provides technical information for hardware and software developers. The second, Channel, includes selling tools and program and product information for resellers and retailers. The third section, Company Info, is chock full of information for investors and prospective employees. Here, you'll find press releases, investor relations, job openings, Intel-sponsored education, and other corporate information. If you're concerned about the Year 2000 issue, Intel offers Y2K information and resources. Last but not least, you can read about Intel's WebOutfitter service, which puts you in touch with websites that are specially optimized for the Pentium III processor.
If those five categories of information aren't enough, then you can find out more about any of the company's products in simpler terms by clicking on product info. Another option is to contact the company directly or even search the site for information on a specific topic. You can even order Intel's home networking products directly from the homepage.
Your head may be spinning from all those links! Now, let's go a little more in-depth and focus on some of the areas of Intel's site that are most useful to us as shareholders in the company.
As an Intel investor, I'm interested in finding out more about both the company's current and future products. Intel's next generation chipset is a 64-bit processor that will first be released as "Merced." I found links to a lot of detailed information about the chip through the Developer's section of Intel's site. After clicking on that link, I went to the Products page and found links to a whole host of articles on IA-64. Just out of curiosity, I did a search of Intel's site for documents containing the words "Merced" and "Processor." Intel's search engine uses Boolean logic, which is something that I often find valuable when I'm researching complex tax issues as part of my regular job. My search produced 118 documents.
One of the more valuable documents that I found is a brief slideshow (10 slides) that provides a nice overview of Intel's architecture roadmap. Slide 8 details the status of Merced, which it says is still on track for production this year.
Not surprisingly, the Investor Relations site is of particular interest to investors. Like Microsoft and Cisco, Intel received high marks for website quality when the Fool ran a series on investor rights earlier this year. Indeed, Intel is one of the leading companies in terms of communicating with its shareholders. In this section, you'll find the online version of annual reports dating back to 1995. In addition, you can find links to an archive of webcasts for the 1999 shareholders meeting and the spring analyst meeting. It's comforting to me as a shareholder to know that Intel is sharing the content of its meetings with the Wise with its individual shareholders. There's even an archive that includes company news for all of 1999 as well as quarterly balance sheet and income statement data for the last 9 quarters.
Another thing that I found interesting was the 10-year graphical investor fact sheet, which among other things showed that in 1998 Intel spent nearly as much on research and development as it had earned in revenues back in 1989. Those that think that you have to get in on a company's initial public offering (IPO) to earn a top return should check out the value of $100 invested in Intel five and ten years ago. You'll also see that $100 invested in Intel at its IPO would now be worth more than $162,000.
One of the most educational parts of Intel's site is the online museum (there is a brick-and-mortar one in Santa Clara, California that you can visit, as well). Included are sections on:
- How chips are made
- How microprocessors work
- History of the microprocessor
- Clean rooms (where those bunny suited engineers on the Intel commercials work)
- How transistors work
All of these are subjects that the Rule-Maker investor can learn about during years and years of owning stock in Intel.
It's not surprising to see that Intel's site devotes space to the Y2K issue. There is information on how Y2K can affect the home user and how such users can prepare their home PCs and small business for the year ahead. In addition, there is information to help large businesses ensure that they will be ready for Y2K. On this page, you can even get help in determining the Y2K compatibility of your own Intel products. While I was there, I checked to make sure that my Intel products are Y2K compatible. Fortunately, they are.
As with all of our Web tours of this week, I've only scratched the surface. Intel.com offers a wealth of information in a fun and accessible format. If you're an Intel shareowner or are thinking about becoming one, I encourage you to explore this great resource.
Finally, be sure to check out our Save the Planet contest. Read about the rise and fall of Planet Hollywood, and then post a message on how you would save the overly hyped restaurant chain. The grand prize is a gift certificate to Planet Hollywood -- oh yeah, and also a trip for four to L.A.!
That's it for me tonight. Oak will be in tomorrow to tour our last site of the week.
Phil Weiss, Fool
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Day Month Year History R-MAKER -0.17% -1.09% 3.56% 31.04% S&P: +0.37% -0.18% 6.04% 31.20% NASDAQ: -1.19% -2.72% 9.61% 45.40% Rule Maker Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 2/3/98 48 Microsoft 39.13 76.38 95.16% 5/1/98 55 Gap Inc. 34.37 65.88 91.67% 6/23/98 34 Cisco Syst 58.41 108.81 86.29% 2/3/98 22 Pfizer 82.30 108.50 31.84% 2/13/98 44 Intel 42.34 50.50 19.28% 5/26/98 18 AmExpress 104.07 121.63 16.87% 2/6/98 56 T. Rowe Pr 33.67 37.75 12.11% 2/17/99 16 Yahoo Inc. 126.31 135.38 7.18% 2/27/98 27 Coca-Cola 69.11 68.94 -0.25% 8/21/98 44 Schering-P 47.99 46.13 -3.89% Foolish Four Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 3/12/98 20 Exxon 64.34 79.94 24.25% 3/12/98 15 Chevron 83.34 91.56 9.86% 3/12/98 20 Eastman Ko 63.15 67.38 6.69% 3/12/98 17 General Mo 72.41 69.44 -4.10% Rule Maker Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 2/3/98 48 Microsoft 1878.45 3666.00 $1787.55 5/1/98 55 Gap Inc. 1890.33 3623.13 $1732.80 6/23/98 34 Cisco Syst 1985.95 3699.63 $1713.68 2/3/98 22 Pfizer 1810.58 2387.00 $576.42 2/13/98 44 Intel 1862.83 2222.00 $359.17 5/26/98 18 AmExpress 1873.20 2189.25 $316.05 2/6/98 56 T. Rowe Pr 1885.70 2114.00 $228.30 2/17/99 16 Yahoo Inc. 2020.95 2166.00 $145.05 2/27/98 27 Coca-Cola 1865.89 1861.31 -$4.58 8/21/98 44 Schering-P 2111.7 2029.50 -$82.20 Foolish Four Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 3/12/98 20 Exxon 1286.70 1598.75 $312.05 3/12/98 15 Chevron 1250.14 1373.44 $123.30 3/12/98 20 Eastman Ko 1262.95 1347.50 $84.55 3/12/98 17 General Mo 1230.89 1180.44 -$50.45 CASH $70.09 TOTAL $31528.03
Note: The Rule Maker Portfolio began with $20,000 on February 2, 1998, and
it adds $2,000 in cash (which is soon invested in stocks) every six months.