"I like to go for cinches. I like to shoot fish in a barrel. But I like to do it after the water has run out."
-- Warren Buffett

History seems to show that good investing doesn't necessarily mean picking out complex situations and basing your investment thesis on Nobel-level math. In fact, as the current financial crisis has shown us -- not to mention the Long Term Capital Management hedge fund and many other examples -- too much complexity can often end in calamity.

In an effort to track down some of the companies that may fall into that "fish in a barrel" category, I've turned to The Motley Fool's CAPS community. Using CAPS' stock screener, I looked for companies that have a price-to-earnings ratio below 15, a long-term debt-to-equity ratio below 50%, a return on equity above 12%, and a high rating from the CAPS community.


CAPS Rating
(out of five)

Price-to-Earnings Ratio

Return on Equity

Debt-to-Equity Ratio

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)





Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE:PBR)





Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB)





Source: CAPS.

These are just three of the results that the CAPS screener spit out; you can run the same screen yourself to see the rest of the companies that made the cut. While the three companies above aren't meant to be formal recommendations, they are good starting points for further research. On that note, let's take a closer look at each company.

No drug problem here
I don't have the background to dig into the chemistry and biology behind Bristol-Myers Squibb's current drugs or those in its pipeline (though my fellow Fool Brian Orelli does), but I can certainly look at the company's business, strategy, and financial results and conclude that this is a very compelling pharma player.

The entire health-care sector is looking like a good play right now as investors seem to be seeking out safety and security after the S&P's big run. But there are a handful of reasons why Bristol-Myers Squibb should jump out from the rest of the group.

For one, big mergers can create big headaches, and while competitors like Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) have bitten off tyrannosaurus-sized chunks of the pharma market, Bristol-Myers is actually finding ways to become smaller and more efficient.

And the company's financial performance is nothing to sneeze at. It has delivered double-digit top- and bottom-line growth over the past 12 months, and has healthy cash flow and a rock-solid balance sheet that allow it to pay a very sweet 6.4% dividend.

Laying a BRIC foundation
BRIC is the magic acronym that brings to bear four of the most promising economies in the world -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- in one nice, neat little package. Of course, investing in these countries isn't a walk in the park, but the growth prospects offer the potential of snazzy returns for years to come.

And while we're on the subject of things we love, we all love oil, right? Sure, its price has jumped around more than Jon and Kate's eight kids after breakfast with the Sugar Fairy, but there are some really solid reasons to have exposure to black gold in your portfolio.

To get that exposure, we could certainly turn to familiar oil giants like ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) or Chevron (NYSE:CVX). But what if we cross BRIC's lead-off hitter, Brazil, with oil to get the best of both worlds? Well then we'd get Petrobras, Brazil's massive oil major.

Considering that Petrobras has more than 3,700 outperform ratings on CAPS, and just 69 underperforms, CAPS members seem to think that Petrobras is a pretty compelling choice.

Now, about finding that oil ...
Of course, if we're conceding that oil is a sector of interest right now, then we certainly need to take a close look at the folks that help oil companies track down and access oil finds. And it'd be hard to put together a list of such companies without Schlumberger near the top.

Schlumberger is a certified gorilla in both the seismic imaging and oilfield services industries, and it has quite the positive following on CAPS – more than 2,600 bulls. CAPS All-Star fdude71 gave the stock a thumbs-up back in March and logged this pitch:

Best of breed company. ... Yes oil prices are down, but 1) for how long? and 2)it will not impact SLB this much in the long run, it could actually help as they help companies getting the best of EXISTING fields, I actually think they will see an increase in reuse of their expertise. I'm in.

Getting down to business
Now the CAPS community wants you. Do you think these stocks make sense? Or is the community off base in its faith? Head over to CAPS and join the 135,000 members already sharing their thoughts on thousands of stocks.

Don't stop here! Be sure to check out:

Pfizer is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Petroleo Brasileiro is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. Take a walk on the inside and then decide if we can help your portfolio thrive. 

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out the stocks that he is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS page, or you can connect with him on Twitter as @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is chillaxin' because it's too busy to chill and relax separately.