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Published: Tuesday, 3/23/2010

Top 2 teams leave picks unchanged at halfway mark in Blade's School Stock Contest

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

At the halfway mark of The Blade's 12-week school stock contest, the two leaders have decided to play conservative and stick with what got them to the top for the remaining weeks.

There were no changes in the order last week of the top three teams, but all 98 teams had a chance by the end of last week to change one to all four of the stocks in their portfolios for the remaining six weeks of the contest.

Neither "BGHS4" team from Bowling Green High School, still the leader with a portfolio of $49,604, nor the "Victory" team from Lial Catholic School in Whitehouse, with a portfolio valued at $48,906, changed any stocks. How many teams switched stocks was not immediately available.

Still in third was the "YoYoDog" team from Montpelier Junior High School with a portfolio worth $48,146.

The teams from 33 northwest Ohio schools had to pick four stocks by late January and began with a hypothetical portfolio of $40,000, divided evenly among the picks. The team whose portfolio grows the most by the end of the contest on April 30 wins.

The winner receives $250 for the school and $250 for the team. The school of the second-place team gets $250, and the third place team's school gets $100.

The contest is co-sponsored by The Blade's Newspaper in Education program and Fifth Third Bank, which is tabulating the results.

Asked yesterday about the BGHS4 team switching stocks, Ron Nickey, a Bowling Green teacher who supervises the team, said, "They decided not to change."

The team studied sports shoemaker Puma Inc., which was on the rise, but backed off in the end.

The leading team has motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, Las Vegas Sands Hotels, computer search engine Baidu Inc., and computer hardware maker Juniper Networks as its four picks.

"They looked at health care [stocks] but they were unsure if the vote was going to go through so they decided the best course was not to take a risk," Mr. Nickey said.

"Teams in my other classes have decided to take some risks but if you're in the lead, I guess you go conservative."

Likewise, the Victory team from Lial debated changes, but decided they liked what they had: electronics firm Motorola Corp., glass maker Libbey Inc., apparel chain Hot Topic Inc., and firearms maker Sturm Ruger & Co. Inc.

"They were considering dumping Motorola, but they were not sure what to replace it with," said the team's teacher, Patricia Jones.

"They feel their four stocks still have good potential. What's the old saying? If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Contact Jon Chavez at:

jchavez@theblade.com

or 419-724-6128.




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