At The Motley Fool, we poke plenty of fun at Wall Street analysts and their endless cycle of upgrades, downgrades, and "initiating coverage at neutral." So you might think we'd be the last people to give virtual ink to such "news." And we would be -- if that were all we were doing.

But in "This Just In," we don't tell you what the analysts said and stop there. No, we're here to hold Wall Street to account. We're going to tell you what the analysts said, and then show you whether they know what they're talking about. Helping us in this endeavor will be Motley Fool CAPS, our tool not only for rating stocks, but also for rating the analysts who rate stocks. With CAPS, we'll be tracking the long-term performance of Wall Street's best and brightest -- and worst and sorriest, too.

And speaking of the best ...
According to, an outfit by the name of Charter Equity gave a ratings upgrade to Finnish telecom kingpin Nokia (NYSE:NOK) yesterday. All together now, say it with me: "That's nice ... Um, who the heck is Charter Equity?"

Funny you should ask -- I was wondering the same thing myself. As did the market, which allowed Nokia shares to follow the market down slightly on the news. Forbes wondered, too, noting the upgrade, then expressing bewilderment that Nokia shares "remain flat despite an upgrade by Charterhouse to 'buy' from 'market perform.'" (You know something's screwy when major news outlets can't even agree on the name of the equity house making the upgrade.)

Well, the purpose of these columns is to help you get to know the analysts behind these ratings. Charter Equity, it turns out, is a Las Vegas-based shop that "provides an in-depth, vertical coverage of the wireless industry, which include services, equipment and semiconductor companies." Its coverage includes Motorola (NYSE:MOT), Nortel (NYSE:NT), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), and -- you guessed it -- Nokia itself.

Turning next to CAPS, in which stocks are given one to five stars, we find the shop remains very much an unknown entity. We're aware of only three ratings it has made public since CAPS went live a few months ago, specifically:

Charter says:

CAPS says:

Charter's pick beating S&P by:




0 points




0 points




35 points

Based on the limited information available, here's what we can surmise:

  • Charter fancies itself a telecom specialist.
  • So far, its record isn't half bad. The Nokia rating, just one day old, is of course not yet relevant. But its Motorola call is a good month old and, at the very least, hasn't hurt the firm's rating yet. Meanwhile, Charter proved prescient in giving Nortel the thumbs-up five months ago, because the stock has been stomping the S&P ever since.

Long story short, it's too early for us to say with authority that "when Charter speaks, people (should) listen." But the early indications are good. Next time we hear from these folks, I, for one, will willingly lend an ear.

Who else can an investor turn to for advice on Nokia? On Wall Street, right now Goldman Sachs has the best record among professionals for calling the stock right. But we've also got one ordinary investor on CAPS who's managed to beat them both. To learn this wise Fool's identity, and see what he (or she?) thinks of Nokia today, just click here.

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 85 out of more than 23,000 raters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.