As a middle-schooler might put it, over the past couple of years Capital One Financial's (NYSE:COF) stock has been a big bucket of yuck. Since the summer of 2007, the stock has been more than cut in half as loan loss provisions have skyrocketed and investors have cut the multiple they're willing to pay for Capital One's earnings.

Since early this year, Capital One has carried a pretty consistent one-star rating on CAPS, as CAPS members have anticipated even further distress hitting the company's loans. Of the 1,000-plus CAPS members who have weighed in on Capital One, though, none has been on top of the stock like fransgeraedts. Ranked 21st among all CAPS members, fransgeraedts has made seven underperform calls -- all correct -- on Capital One and has snagged 74 points in the process.

Fransgeraedts is one of CAPS' All-Stars -- members with a rating of 80 or greater -- and has managed a stock-picking accuracy of 79% while racking up nearly 6,500 points. Capital One hasn't been the only great call on fransgeraedts' scorecard. Here's a look at a few of the other prescient picks:

Company

Date Picked

Call

Points

CAPS Rating

AMR (NYSE:AMR)

7/11/08

Outperform

117

*

Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE)

11/24/08

Outperform

60

*****

Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE)

7/11/08

Outperform

59

**

Data from CAPS.

So what is this investor looking at these days? Here are a few recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

Petrobras (NYSE:PBR)

12/19/08

Outperform

*****

US Bancorp (NYSE:USB)

12/16/08

Outperform

****

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

12/3/08

Outperform

***

Data from CAPS.

While not all of these picks may pan out, they could be a good place to start some further research. I decided to take a closer at Petroleo Brasileiro -- Petrobras to its friends.

The slippery slope of oil
While financial companies have been struggling for more than a year now, oil's belly-flop has made its splash much faster. After peaking in July, the price of crude has fallen more than 70%, leaving companies like Petrobras selling black gold that doesn't have quite the allure that it did a few months ago.

There's no question that the blue-light special on crude oil is bad for Petrobras' business, but the state-run company still sees the offshore reserves that it's been targeting as a profitable endeavor, and its management team has announced that it will be investing $21 billion or more in 2009. So apparently, the show will go on.

On CAPS, members have seen a handful of reasons to give this stock an outperform rating despite the mighty headwinds. Pinti85, for one, thinks that Petrobras' discoveries are a great opportunity: "Petrobras offers an exciting long-term participation in the world's most important oil discoveries of the past three years. The finds are in the Pre-Salt formation of the Santos Basin offshore Brazil under water a mile deep."

Meanwhile, devilzadvocate sees oil bouncing back and Petrobras going along for the ride: "Oil will rebound as soon as the economy turns around. With known reserves, [Petrobras] is a good option to cling onto."

But here's the important question: what's your take on Petrobras? Will it continue to be weighed down by falling oil prices, or is a rebound around the corner? Get in the action by clicking over to CAPS. CAPS is absolutely free and already has more than 125,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

More CAPS Foolishness:

On Jan. 12, 2009, Fool co-founder David Gardner, Jeff Fischer, and their Motley Fool Pro team will accept new subscribers to their real-money portfolio service. Motley Fool Pro is investing $1 million of the Fool's own money in long and short positions in a range of securities, including common stocks, put and call options, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). They also incorporate proprietary CAPS "community intelligence" data into their research. To learn more about Motley Fool Pro and to receive a private invitation to join, simply enter your email address in the box below.

US Bancorp and Petroleo Brasileiro are Motley Fool Income Investor selections.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer is in the middle of a 4,500-mile road trip and does not mind lower gas prices at all. He owns shares of US Bancorp, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy wishes everyone luck dealing with the airlines and snow.