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Published: Tuesday, 3/25/2008

Strong leader posts gain of $2,835 in week

BY TED FACKLER
BLADE BUSINESS REPORTER
<br>
<img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/assets/gif/TO17150419.GIF> VIEW: <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO42047325.PDF" target="_blank "><b>Team standings, portfolio values</b></a> <br> <img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/assets/gif/TO17150419.GIF> VIEW: <a href=" /assets/pdf/TO42047325.PDF" target="_blank "><b>Team standings, portfolio values</b></a>
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In a volatile stock market, most analysts preach the three D's: diversity, diversity, diversity.

But for a certain No. 1 team in the Blade's School Stock Contest, preaching Cabela's Inc., Whirlpool Corp., First Solar Inc., and CSX Corp. is good enough.

The Dragon$ team, from Erie-Huron-Ottawa Education Service Center, have those stocks in its portfolio, which was worth $49,017 last week. It increased more than $2,835 from the prior week, keeping the team in the lead for the second week. The team had held the top spot since the week that ended Feb. 15 except for the week that ended March 7.

Since the 14-week contest began in January, three of the four stocks have gained at least 23 percent in value.

"They picked the [stocks] they knew," said adviser Steve Myers. "Now they ask how they can invest for real, where they can get the money."

Participating in the contest are 1,325 students in 26 schools. Each team had to select four stocks from the New York Stock Exchange or from Nasdaq valued at $5 at the outset. Each stock was allotted a hypothetical $10,000 at the beginning. Each of the 104 teams was allowed to change one or all four stocks two weeks ago.

The team whose portfolio grows the most by the end of April 25 wins. First place gets $500 for the team and its school; second place wins $250 for its school; and third place wins $100 for its school.

The Blade's Newspaper in Education program and Fifth Third Bank are co-sponsors of the game.

Second place, through last week, is DHS3SEN from Defiance High at $47,107, up 4 percent, and in third place is ATAMAW from Swanton Middle School at $46,329, up 4 percent.

Said Matt Faltys of Fifth Third Bank, ATAMAW has Verizon and Netflix Inc. to thank. Netflix was up 9 percent last week and was upgraded to a "buy" rating by a brokerage house. Verizon had gains of 7 percent, as investors apparently were confident that it spent $9 billion on new airwave frequencies.

Also, ATAMAW owns Dell Inc. and First Solar Inc.

Teacher Jennifer Schmidt, advising the all-girls ATAMAW, said they are very excited about being No. 3.

"They picked [the stocks] because they're all things the girls use," said Mr. Schmidt, referring to the cell phone and movie industries.

A counter example is the B@!!@$ from Rossford High, Mr. Faltys said.

Riding the volatility of Converted Organics Inc., down 27 percent last week, the team fell from No. 6 to No. 47.

Contact Ted Fackler at: tfackler@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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