"We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." -- Warren Buffett

Of all the Oracle of Omaha's orations, this one holds a special place in Foolish investors' hearts. When looking to bag a bargain, a panicked sell-off by jittery investors can offer you a great chance to snap up stocks on the cheap.

In the short term, professional traders' pessimism can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Desperate institutions lower their asking prices to get rid of a stock, prompting buyers' bid prices to fall in tandem, creating the very price decline that both sides feared in the first place -- until the selling stops.

Until it does, savvy investors can "get greedy," snapping up bargains from these fearful sellers. (Assuming they really are bargains.) In today's column, we'll see which stocks Wall Street's motivated sellers are most frantic to unload. Once we've compiled this shopping list of potential contrarian picks, we'll check them against the collective intelligence of Motley Fool CAPS.

Today's contenders include:

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating
(5 max)

Flotek Industries  (NYSE: FTK)

$17.79

*****

Aruba  Networks (Nasdaq: ARUN)

$4.92

***

Zoran  (Nasdaq: ZRAN)

$12.75

***

Stereotaxis (Nasdaq: STXS)

$6.74

**

Akeena Solar (Nasdaq: AKNS)

$7.05

**

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

Two companies rated an "average" three stars. Two more rated below average. Looks like we've got an easy decision this week, folks. Only one company rates above average, and that one -- oilfield services operator Flotek -- gets the maximum five stars allotted under CAPS. Let's find out why.

The bull case for Flotek Industries
NuclearSteve introduces us to the company in this pitch from last summer, advising that Flotek makes:

... chemicals for the oil and gas industry. These chemicals help soften up the hard layers in the earth that prevent oil and gas companies from extracting the most out of each well. Business is currently booming and the earnings show it.

But Flotek is more than just chemicals. The company also makes equipment for drilling, and for extracting oil and gas once it's found (pumps, valves, and the like). DirtySmuggler observes that Flotek's equipment is used "heavily by names such as [Halliburton (NYSE: HAL)], but still not a mainstream product for most drillers. ... Look for this to change as Services giant [Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB)] has stated it will pitch the product more to its own customer base."

One of the great things about CAPS? With 83,000 investors strong and growing, we're bound to have a few contributors who can offer firsthand experience with the companies they're describing. So let's close today's pitch list with a few words from wbhinton, who tells us, "I have personally used [Flotek's] equipment (Spidle Turbeco Drilling Jars) they are quality tools and well priced."

Flotek's bull case is looking pretty good so far, but we haven't yet touched on the price you're asked to pay for a piece of this action. At first glance, it looks pretty good. Flotek sells for a P/E of just 20, yet the few analysts who follow this company predict it will grow its profits 63% next year.

Really, just one thing worries me about those profits: Flotek is still a dry hole when it comes to free cash flow, which represented just 15% of net income over the past 12 months. Over the last three years, the company's capital investments have kept pace with its operating cash flow growth, as expansions to the business consumed the majority of the cash generated.

Still, analysts' growth projections for next year suggest that they think this investment will pay off in the near term. If you agree, you just might want to follow the CAPS community's lead, and add this one to your contrarian shopping list.

Disagree? Feel free. Come on over to CAPS and make your case that Flotek is a buy.

What company do Fools prefer in the sphere of oil services? Take a free 30-day trial of Motley Fool Stock Advisor, and we'll clue you in.

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. 521 out of more than 83,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.