Wall Street's Buy List

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Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes. So why does the media focus so much attention on what Wall Street says about companies, instead of what it does with them?

At one point in time, the answer was easy: We didn't know what the bankers were up to -- but no longer. Thanks to the folks at, it's now easy to keep tabs on what stocks financial institutions are buying and selling. And thanks to the 170,000-plus lay and professional investors on Motley Fool CAPS, we've also got insight into whether these decisions make sense.

Here's the latest edition of Wall Street's Buy List, alongside our investors' opinions of the companies involved:


Recent Price

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Oilsands Quest (NYSE: BQI  ) $0.54 ****
Star Scientific (Nasdaq: CIGX  ) $1.91 *
VirnetX Holding  (NYSE: VHC  ) $13.69 *
ZAGG Inc (Nasdaq: ZAGG  ) $9.40 *
Hyperdynamics Corp.  (NYSE: HDY  ) $4.84 *

Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Up Last Month" list published on MSN Money after close of trading on Friday. Recent price provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Wall Street vs. Main Street
Up on Wall Street, the professionals think these five stocks are the greatest things since sliced bread. (And by "bread," I mean money.) They're ...

  • ... following Rodman & Renshaw's lead and buying into Hyperdynamics ...
  • ... betting that Zagg will profit, now that Best Buy is hawking its "invisibleSHIELD" screen protectors ...
  • ... puffing up shares of Star Scientific, in hopes an FDA application will help lift the tobacconist to ever-higher highs ...
  • ... ignoring warning signs (that the Fool's own Seth Jayson recently uncovered), and buying VirnetX Holding with abandon.

Are these good ideas? It appears few Fools think so, as they assign lowly one-star ratings to most of the stocks on this week's list. They may be right. That Hyperdynamics recommendation, for example, comes from an analyst that, according to our research, ranks as one of Wall Street's Worst. Only a single stock on today's list attracts support from both Wall Street and Main Street. Which is it? That's what we'll look into today, as we examine ...

The bull case for Oilsands Quest
Oilsands Quest may sound like the name of a really bad video game, but in reality, the company is a play on the essential role of oil. CAPS member Ipscdvc sees oil "going nowhere but up longterm." And the higher the price goes, the more economically viable Canada's oil sands become as a source of crude.

CAPS member johndownes notes that Oilsands Quest's "inventory is proven, and the cost to obtain it is high … but as price of retail gas starts climbing toward $4, then $5, watch the urgency of oil sands precipitate, and the value of the company and its stock soar."

Will gas climb to $4 and $5 per gallon? Probably, eventually, yes. Even if it doesn't happen immediately, there's no rush. As CAPS member andrams, a confessed Oilsands bull, admits: "Production won't begin for 6-9 years, who cares, look for BQI to get driven up by those not interested in profitability."

Reality check
But wait just one proverbial cotton-pickin' minute. Who cares about profitability? Um, me, for one. Oh, I know there are "investors" out there who love nothing more than rooting through piles of penny stocks in hopes of chancing across a buffalo nickel. As they might tell you: "Hey, if Oilsands Quest only goes to a dollar, you'll double your money!"

But the question you need to ask yourself is: Why do you think Oilsands Quest might go to a dollar? After all, the stock's already fallen 22% over the past year -- presumably for a reason. And call me crazy for suggesting this, call me a Fool, but it just might be that the reason Oilsands is currently stuck in a tar pit, is that it's not earning its keep.

Foolish final thought
Now mind you -- I'm not anti-oil sands, per se. Fact is, there are multiple companies making good money from this resource. Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU  ) is one. Imperial Oil, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) , is another. While I admit the possibility that Oilsands Quest will eventually turn into a third, profitable oil sands play, right now it's anything but.

And that's anything but a reason to own it.

Perhaps you disagree? If you think Oilsands Quest is a trip worth taking, then we've got a place to state your case. Tell us all about why you think Wall Street's right to be buying Oilsands Quest, and why I'm all wrong. Tell us on Motley Fool CAPS.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of, nor is he short, any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 729 out of more than 170,000 members. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Best Buy is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick, and a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy and ExxonMobil.

Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (18)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2011, at 10:33 AM, HDYFAN wrote:

    Jim Cramer said sell HDY last week. That makes the stock a super strong buy and hold imo.

    LOL, Go Cramer.

    Perhaps when Cramer says to sell a stock he's never called a buy, what he's really saying is SELL TO ME.

    MF and Mad Money have been foolishly bearish on HDY, while the smarter money at Blackrock is BULLISH on HDY.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2011, at 10:37 AM, HDYFAN wrote:


    HDY has a clear path to $20 in my opinion, near term. 3D analysis to come should IMO reveal a fundamental conservative valuation of over $20 per share. Longer term there is a path to $100 per share depending on drilling results. Drilling will happen later this year.

    With enough proven reserves, HDY's fundamental valuation can easily be magnitudes higher than $20 per share.

    Take some time to really study HDY's potential.

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2011, at 11:07 AM, brchad wrote:

    Reading this and previous articles, your bias against HDY is so obvious it's laughable.

    Interestingly, it seems as if you are quick to publish harshly negative sentiments about numerous stocks, and little actual research to recommend any positive ones.

    FOOL-ish indeed. I won't be wasting any more of my time here!

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2011, at 12:25 PM, odico wrote:

    I like STPJF, Southern Pacific resources which has grown thru acquisitions and is producing and becoming profitable. Agressive management and plenty of properties to grow.

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CIGX.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
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