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Published: Tuesday, 5/2/2006

Soft-drink maker propels leading team higher

BY GARY T. PAKULSKI
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

The leading portfolio in The Blade's school stock contest includes skyrocketing shares of The Andersons Inc. and solidly performing Apple Computer Inc. But the team's biggest gainer last week was a small, alternative beverage maker in Seattle that caters to the youth market.

Shares of Jones Soda Co. rose 15 percent to $8.93 Friday, helping members of NdaBlack at Otsego Middle School, Grand Rapids, Ohio, widen a lead over their closest opponent.

With just one week to go, it appears as though no team will be able to overtake the Otsego team.

"Their stock picking worked out pretty well for them," said results tabulator Matthew Faltys, director of portfolio management at Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio), which is a co-sponsor of the contest.

"It would take a huge development for the next two teams to overtake NdaBlack. There would have to be a major announcement coming out of one of the companies in the portfolios."

Teacher Molly Whitmer said, "The students are feeling pretty good about the contest at this point, but they still understand that with the stock market, anything is possible."

The value of Nda's portfolio, which as did the 35 other entrants began with a hypothetical $40,000, rose 8 percent last week to $57,301 Friday. Sony Corp. is the final stock among Nda's four required picks.

The Otsego team has led the contest for six weeks, and if it prevails stands to collect $250 for the school and $250 for the class.

The portfolio of the second-place team, the Jobbers at Rossford Junior High School, rose 4 percent to $52,112. Its stocks are The Andersons, Aqua America Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Best Buy Inc.

But third-place BigBucks, of St. Pius X School, Toledo, increased 6 percent to $49,455, helping narrow the gap between second and third.

The second-place finisher wins $150 for its school; third-place, $100 for the school.

Slightly fewer than half of the teams are in the black, with the remaining portfolios worth less than the original $40,000. The 16-week contest began in January and ends with the close of the stock market this week.

The Blade's Newspaper in Education program also is a co-sponsor of the contest.

Following are the participating teams, schools and cities, and portfolio values as of Friday:

1. NdaBlack, Otsego Middle, Grand Rapids, $57,301.

2. Jobbers, Rossford Jr., $52,112.

3. BigBucks, St. Pius X, Toledo, $49,455.

4. Moneymen, county Educational Service Center, Genoa, $44,673.

5. BlueStar, Jones Jr., Toledo, $43,838.

6. DECA-srs, Scott High, Toledo, $43,100.

7. Panthers, Stryker Elem., $42,891.

8. TheLegGp, Bowling Green High, $42,456.

9. SJJ1, St. John's Jesuit, Toledo, $42,412.

10. Mnybagz, Christ the King, Toledo, $42,345.

11. Benjamin, Bowling Green High, $41,578.

12. CaplEdge, Christ the King, Toledo, $41,367.

13. ZapaloCo, Bluffton High, $40,798.

14. Strycool, Stryker Elem., $40,703.

15. E.C.O.'s, Toledo Accelerated, $40,685.

16. Tizzie, Bowling Green High, $40,498.

17. Lions, Life Skills Center, Toledo, $40,427.

18. $tars, county Educational Service Center, Genoa, $40,345.

19. DaSmartz, Toth Elem., Perrysburg, $40,327.

20. Weirdos, Jones Jr., Toledo, $39,778.

21. B-Dazzle, Bowling Green High, $39,499.

22. TheBAAE's, Bowling Green High, $39,361.

23. AveJohns, St. John's Jesuit, Toledo, $39,353.

24. ABEC, Rossford Jr., $39,107.

25. KimsKids, Woodmore Elem., Woodville, $39,024.

26. DECA-jrs, Scott High, Toledo, $38,820.

27. AH-Trade, Arbor Hills Jr., Sylvania, $38,293.

28. Suniweck, Rossford Jr., $37,747.

29. $Makers, Toledo Accelerated, $37,629.

30. Lucky7's, Christ the King, Toledo, $37,254.

31. Rebels23, Bowsher High, Toledo, $37,228.

32. PC DECA, Port Clinton High, $37,047.

33. Prpl Cow, Clay High, Oregon, $36,972.

34. Stockers, Fairfield Elem., Maumee, $36,755.

35. Ze Frans, Frank Elem., Perrysburg, $36,000.

36. BG Stock, Bowling Green High, $34,676.

Contact Gary Pakulski at:

gpakulski@theblade.com

or 419-724-6082.



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