Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) certainly could have hoped for a better reaction to its announced offer for Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO). Not only did investors beat down Mr. Softy's stock price on the news, but then the company also came under fire from Web giant Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), which claimed that the Microhoo marriage would be anticompetitive.

On Motley Fool CAPS, there are plenty of current Microsoft bulls -- 6,725 of them, to be exact -- and all of them have taken a hit lately as Microsoft's stock has dropped. But the current score leader for Microsoft, vonwao, is not one of them. This top CAPS player originally got bullish about Microsoft back in mid-2006, when he noted that the company has a "good long term strategy for next generation of PCs." He pulled his support back in October, though, as the stock spiked into the mid $30s. From start to finish, his call on Microsoft snagged him a very sweet 59% gain.

Vonwao is one of CAPS' All-Stars -- players with a rating of 80 or greater -- and he has managed an accuracy of nearly 70% on his picks while racking up more than 1,600 points. Microsoft hasn't been his only great call. Here's a look at a few of his other prescient picks.

Company

Date Picked

Call

Score

CAPS Rating

China Medical Technologies

1/31/07

Outperform

116

*****

NAVTEQ

12/20/06

Outperform

113

*****

Walter Industries

11/27/06

Outperform

103

****

Data from CAPS.

So what is this investor looking at these days? Here are a few of his most recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

Southern Copper

1/15/08

Outperform

*****

Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER)

1/9/08

Underperform

**

First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD)

1/9/08

Outperform

****

Data from CAPS.

Although not all of these picks may pan out, they could be a good place to start some further research. I decided to take a closer look at crowd favorite and Motley Fool Hidden Gems and Inside Value favorite First Marblehead.

The freeze is on
As we've seen over the past year, trouble in the credit markets can create wide-ranging problems for the financial markets and the economy as a whole. For companies such as First Marblehead, whose primary business is securitizing student loans, the issue can be even more dire.

Without buyers in the market for structured debt, Marblehead was unable to complete a securitization transaction in its recently closed second fiscal quarter. To make matters worse, the deteriorating market conditions caused the company to adjust its assumptions for some of its balance-sheet assets. Everything coalesced into a loss for the quarter well in excess of $100 million.

Despite the worrisome recent performance, a great number of Fools on CAPS don't think that investors should be writing off First Marblehead quite yet. Of 2,878 investors weighing in on the stock, 2,771 (96%) think that it will outperform the broader market. And CAPS players don't see eye-to-eye with Wall Street at all on this one: All four of the Wall Streeters that we track on CAPS gave the stock a thumbs-down.

One of the Marblehead bulls, kmorley123, recently had this to say:

[First Marblehead] has some problems right now with its inability to do securitizations, but I think that is a fairly short-term issue. Meanwhile, [Marblehead] is taking advantage of the lull to develop some in-house programs that will likely make it much larger, more profitable and less dependent upon a few big customers ([Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)] and [JPMorgan Chase  (NYSE: JPM)]).

This is another stock that the market has oversold. When the lemmings get over their aversion to anything related to finance and see [Marblehead's] consistent success, this stock will be at the top of their wish lists.

You can see more of what CAPS players have had to say about First Marblehead by clicking over to CAPS. CAPS is absolutely free and already has more than 83,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Microsoft and First Marblehead are Inside Value recommendations. Walter Industries and First Marblehead are both picks from Motley Fool Hidden Gems. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are Income Investor picks. You can take any of The Fool's newsletters for a free 30-day test-drive.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America and First Marblehead but of no other companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy is in awe of all of the CAPS players that are ranked higher than Matt ... and there are a heck of a lot of them.