The Stocks the Funds Are Buying

We all know which stocks have made Wall Street's Buy List. What I want to know -- and I'm guessing you do, too -- is who's doing the buying. Which funds are buying Wall Street's most popular stocks ... and how does their judgment compare with that of our Motley Fool CAPS community?

Here's our latest group of contenders:

Company

Last Closing Price

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

Zumiez (NASDAQ:ZUMZ)

$19.82

****

Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU)

$75.82

***

Silverleaf Resorts

$2.55

***

ExpressJet

$2.97

**

IKON Office Solutions

$11.52

**

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo! Finance.

Hipster clothier Zumiez has plenty of fund fans. Sadly, only one -- an index fund -- is a high performer by Morningstar's standards.

I'm a fan of index funds. But in this column, I prefer to follow the work of independent stock pickers. Let's take a chance today on Steve Calhoun, manager of the two-star, no-load Fidelity Aggressive Growth (FDEGX) fund.

"Take a chance" really is the appropriate phrasing here. Aggressive Growth is down 14% thus far in 2008, and it trails the category average by seven percentage points year to date.

Why bet on Calhoun, then? He trounced both the S&P 500 and peers last year. And with an alpha rating -- a measurement of the loss or profit derived from stock-picking decisions, rather than market movements -- that veers drastically from the category average, we have reason to believe that his picks would outperform in a recovery.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Aggressive Growth's 0.78% expense ratio is well below the toll charged by most domestic stock funds.

Here's a look at the top five stocks Calhoun owns today:

Company

Last closing price

CAPS rating (Out of 5)

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ)

$40.93

*****

Omniture (NASDAQ:OMTR)

$23.83

*****

NuVasive (NASDAQ:NUVA)

$39.99

***

ArthroCare (NASDAQ:ARTC)

$42.35

*

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF)

$73.50

**

Sources: Morningstar, Motley Fool CAPS.

There are some good choices here. Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch boasts an excellent 0.82 PEG ratio based on current-year earnings projections. And spine surgeon NuVasive, thanks to outstanding top-line growth, remains a well-positioned rocket stock.

My favorite, though, is Omniture, a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection that resembles Akamai, in that it plays a key role in the upward march of Web commerce. Here's how Fool co-founder David Gardner put it his December 2006 write-up:

Omniture ... is one of the companies leading the business-optimization charge. Its Web analytics do a lot more than count clicks to a given site. By tapping into a company's servers and gathering online data, its software creates a virtual dashboard of customized, real-time performance metrics that alert clients when the needle drops too low or runs too high.

Nice, but the shares have since doubled. Could Omniture still be cheap? CAPS investor spoorts thinks so. Quoting from his January pitch:

The market for Web analytics software and services will reach 1 billion by 2010. Less than 20% of the 10,000 most visited web sites use web analytics. As CEO Josh James states it is like "flying an airplane without the instrument panel". [Omniture] has barely scratched the surface.

I'm inclined to agree. Blistering growth from the likes of Akamai and Google strongly suggests that the Web is expanding as quickly as ever.

But that's my take. What's yours? Would you own Omniture, or any of the stocks in Aggressive Growth's portfolio, at today's prices? Log into CAPS today, and let us know what you think. It's 100% free to participate.


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