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 its worst and sorriest, too.

And speaking of the best ...
Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), the company that made the "P" in PDF stand for "profit," reported its highest-ever quarterly sales and profits after the bell on Monday. A few minutes later, the shares started selling off in aftermarket trading as investors looked askance at the margins behind these profits. A few hours after that, Deutsche Bank declared the new and improved share price an "attractive entry point" and, in calling a bottom, upgraded the stock from hold to buy.

I don't see much attraction in a stock with a price-to-earnings ratio of 37, even if it did grow its sales 34% last quarter -- particularly when its net profit grew at a much less-sprightly 21%. But hey, I'm open to being persuaded. Before writing off Deutsche's call as blind bottom-fishing, let's give this analyst's record a quick lookover and see whether it's perhaps worth listening to after all.

Let's go to the tape
Over on CAPS, we've been tracking Deutsche's progress for a bit longer than a year now, and, well, I've got good news and bad news for fans of the Teutonic titan. Good news: With an 86.71 CAPS rating, Deutsche places comfortably within the top quintile of investors, a group we fondly refer to as the "CAPS All-Stars." Bad news: It does this in spite of, not because of, its record of calling stocks correctly. By our count, Deutsche gets barely more calls wrong than right, and it's accurate just a little less than 50% of the time. Take, for example:

Company

Deutsche Said:

CAPS Says
(Out of 5):

Deutsche's Pick
Lagging S&P By:

Lehman Brothers
(NYSE:LEH)

Outperform

*

15 points

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Outperform

**

28 points

Bear Stearns (NYSE:BSC)

Outperform

*

38 points

For an investment banker, seems Deutsche doesn't have a particularly good grasp of the banking sphere. Luckily for Adobe investors, today Deutsche was focusing on software -- where its record shines quite a bit brighter:

Company

Deutsche Said:

CAPS Says:

Deutsche's Pick
Beating S&P By:

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Outperform

***

24 points

salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM)

Outperform

*

39 points

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Outperform

****

90 points

I admit it. I went into this column feeling less than optimistic about Deutsche's creds, and the high sticker price affixed to Adobe made me even more leery. But facts are facts -- and the fact is that Deutsche has a stellar record of picking winners in the software sphere.

Foolish takeaway
As an investor with a confirmed value bent, I can't bring myself to buy Adobe. The price is too rich for me, and it will probably remain so for some time to come. But investors willing to venture out on the wild side might want to take a gamble on Adobe. Judging from Deutsche's record, there may be more to this one than meets the P/E eye.

Do you see what Deutsche sees? Or on the contrary, do you think, "Sometimes, an expensive stock is just an expensive stock"? Whichever your bent, value or growth, come on over to CAPS and bend our ears for a moment. We'd love to hear your thoughts on Adobe.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's No. 972 of more than 41,000 ranked players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.