"Actions speak louder than words."

It's an old saying, with more than a grain of truth to it, I'll warrant. So why is it that when the Wall Street firms merely "initiate coverage" or "upgrade" their ratings on a company, that gets all the news coverage? After all, those are only words, when what really matters is how the big boys act. Luckily for Wall Street watchers, finding out which professionals put their money where their corporate mouthpieces are has become relatively easy in this Internet age of ours. All we have to do is read MSN Money's list of which companies the Street is most actively buying.

But once we've done that, what next? After all, "Monkey see, monkey do" may not be the soundest basis for an investment strategy. That's where Motley Fool CAPS can help. The Fool's newest venture into the realm of collective intelligence collects ratings from 17,000 (and counting!) lay and professional analysts, then overweights the most successful raters' opinions to come up with a "CAPS rating" from one to five stars (five being the best). If Wall Street's buying and the smartest investors in Fooldom say they're right to do so, then that should get your attention.

And so, let's meet today's list of contenders:

30-day price increase

Currently fetching

CAPS rating

Dynavax Technologies (NASDAQ:DVAX)



One star

Progen Industries (NASDAQ:PGLA)



One star

EPIX Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:EPIX)



Two stars

Halozyme Therapeutics (NYSE:HTI)



Two stars

Alexza Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXA)




Immtech Pharmaceuticals (AMEX:IMM)




Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Up Last Month" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. Price increase and current pricing also provided by MSN Money on the same date. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Poultry and offspring
Another well-worn saw is: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? As you've noticed by now, one characteristic that each of these stocks has in common is that they've experienced dramatic price increases over the past 30 days. But are the Wall Streeters buying because the stocks have gone up -- playing the momentum game -- or is their heavy buying causing the prices to spike? It could even be a combination of the two, a vicious circle of some buyers pushing the price up, and others hopping aboard the bandwagon and enjoying the ride.

Where to, Mac?
And where are all these trading geniuses heading this week? To the drugstore, it seems, to pick up a pack of pharmas and a bottle of biotechs. The greatest interest seemed to fall to a group of tiny drug manufacturers, none valued at more than half a billion dollars. Successful plays, certainly, with each of the firms seeing its share price skyrocket over the past 30 days. Still, as investments go, there's no other word to use here but "speculative." None of the firms boasts more than a few million dollars in annual revenue, and a couple recorded less than $1 million for the latest year.

One name on this list, however, did catch my eye: EPIX. Motley Fool Hidden Gems members may know the name, because it's the firm to which Transkaryotic Therapies CEO Michael Astrue jumped after his firm was bought out by Shire Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SHPGY).

Out of curiosity, I decided to check up on EPIX on CAPS, and see what our experts are saying about the company. Here's what I found:

  • downwithpumpers , who is hands-down one of the best stock pickers on CAPS, cryptically observes: "I think that the market has underestimated how good this new news is."
  • "What news," you ask? CAPS newcomer mdriver78 explains: "GlaxoSmithKline and EPIX Pharmaceuticals are moving forward with a worldwide multi-target strategic collaboration to discover, develop and market novel medicines targeting four G-protein coupled receptors for the treatment of a variety of diseases, including EPIX's novel 5-HT4 partial agonist program, PRX-03140, in early-stage clinical development for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The alliance with GSK will be conducted through its Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery. EPIX will receive total initial payments of $35 mln, including $17.5 mln through the purchase of 3,009,027 shares of common stock. In addition, EPIX will be eligible to earn potential milestones of up to $1.2 bln based on the achievement of certain discovery, development, regulatory and commercial milestones across the four GPCR programs. EPIX will also receive tiered double-digit royalties on sales by GSK of all collaboration-developed product sales. Cash flow, plus the potential for a buyout is the driver and the agreement reduces the risk substantially."

Are they right? Are they wrong? Tell us what you think on Motley Fool CAPS. You see, on CAPS, it doesn't matter if your name has a "TMF" in front of it or a "CFA" after it. Unlike Wall Street, we welcome all comments on CAPS, where the best arguments -- and the best records -- carry the day.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's ranked 454 out of more than 17,000 raters. GlaxoSmithKline is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Hidden Gems sold Transkaryotic Therapies. The Fool has adisclosure policy.