An Outstanding Call on Whole Foods

Last year was bumpy for Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFMI  ) . A multitude of concerns hit the company in 2007, including questions about whether it could continue to grow as quickly as it had in the past, whether it would be able to complete its acquisition of Wild Oats, and whether its CEO had crossed the line in cyberspace.

On Motley Fool CAPS, you'll find plenty of Whole Foods bulls -- 2,849, of them to be exact -- who have taken a hit over the past year as Whole Foods' stock has dropped in light of these concerns. But the current score leader for Whole Foods, CAPS All-Star zcap, is not one of them. This top CAPS player got bullish on Whole Foods back in January of last year -- right after the stock had fallen off a cliff -- and held on long enough for investors to realize a few months later that it wasn't the end of the world for the organic grocer. He then flipped his thumb down as the stock soared and rode the stock's downturn into the summer, before turning around again. In all, he picked up 58 points for his trouble. He noted: "Personally I don't like short-term buy and sell or [vice] versa. But the situation around [Whole Foods] provided an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the near-sighted speculations by The Street."

At CAPS, zcap is one of our All-Stars -- players with a rating of 80 or greater -- and he has managed to achieve an accuracy of nearly 65% on his picks while racking up more than 800 points. And Whole Foods hasn't been his only great call. Here's a look at a few of his other prescient picks.

Company

Date Picked

Call

Points

CAPS Rating (5 Max)

Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE: PBR  )

6/14/07

Outperform

111

*****

Ctrip.com (Nasdaq: CTRP  )

11/14/06

Outperform

78

****

Circuit City (NYSE: CC  )

1/29/07

Underperform

70

*

Data from CAPS.

So what is zcap looking at these days? Here are a few of his most recent calls on CAPS.

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY  )

12/31/07

Outperform

***

Moody's (NYSE: MCO  )

12/31/07

Outperform

****

Miramar Mining (AMEX: MNG  )

12/31/07

Outperform

****

Data from CAPS.

Not all of these picks may pan out, but they can still provide a good starting point for further research. Out of the names on our roster today, I've decided to take a closer look at crowd favorite -- and Stock Advisor and Inside Value favorite -- Moody's.

Down but not out
Fool co-founder and Stock Advisor co-advisor Tom Gardner recently tapped Moody's as a recommendation for a second time. The stock is trading at about half of its 52-week peak right now, as concerns about its involvement in the U.S. mortgage mess has dropped on the company like an anvil on Wile E. Coyote's head.

Given the current environment, some people may think this is a crazy pick. But I think Tom is being particularly prudent. After all, Moody's was an early recommendation in Stock Advisor's history and has performed well for subscribers -- so why not grab the opportunity to buy more while it's on sale? My crystal ball is in the repair shop right now, so I don't know what the stock will do over the next year, but the view looks good from the five- or 10-year perspective.

CAPS players have also been positive on Moody's despite light of its fall. One of CAPS' top players, sandvig, noted last summer:

Panic in the credit markets may put a chill in the business of one who derives substantial income from credit ratings on the packages of mortgages that get sold. I think that Moody's diverse business base will help them weather this storm. They have credit ratings on roughly 12,000 corporate issuers.

You can see more of what CAPS players have had to say about Moody's by heading over to CAPS for yourself. CAPS is absolutely free and already has more than 83,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

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