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 simply tell you what the analysts said. We'll also show you whether they know what they're talking about. To help, we've enlisted Motley Fool CAPS, our tool for rating stocks and analysts alike. 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 ...
One of the best stock pickers in the business initiated coverage on an entirely different slice of the business universe yesterday. Bright and early Wednesday morning, international banking magnate Credit Suisse delivered a raft of ratings on American newspapers large and small, and it read a little something like this:

  • New York Times (NYSE:NYT) and Gannett (NYSE:GCI) -- Outperform.
  • Everybody else -- Neutral.

"Everybody else" includes names such as Belo (NYSE:BLC), Lee Enterprises (NYSE:LEE), and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI). But why is Credit Suisse so sanguine about the prospects for an industry that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Craigslist are supposedly killing?

Basically, Credit Suisse takes the view that this time it's not different. The Internet may be a game-changer, but that doesn't mean it's "game over" for the news industry. Sure, newspapers are struggling through a downturn today, but they'll eventually figure out how to become "more digitally centric multimedia operators." They'll cut costs, and eventually imitate their more successful Internet cousins in monetizing their content on the Internet.

It's just going to take some time.

Foolish takeaway
I have to tell you -- I like Credit Suisse's thinking on this one. It's comfortably contrarian, and so diametrically opposed to the prevailing wisdom that "newspapers are dead" that I wouldn't be at all surprised if Credit Suisse surprises us by proving itself right.

Incidentally, the analyst has a strong record of doing just that. According to CAPS, Credit Suisse gets 57% of its calls right, and boasts a 97.29 CAPS rating, which puts it in the top 10% of stock pickers. If you're going to make a contrarian play on the news industry, you could find worse analysts to side with than Credit Suisse.

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 currently ranked No. 1,431 out of more than 77,000 players. Yahoo! is a recommendation of Motley Fool Stock Advisor. The Fool has a disclosure policy.