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 ...
Well, it was another rout on Wall Street yesterday, with the Dow falling 1.3%, and the Nasdaq 2.0%. Shares of Web analytics firm and Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Omniture (Nasdaq: OMTR) got hit harder than most stocks. Even more surprising, they did so after receiving an analyst upgrade.

You see, on Monday, investment banker Friedman Billings Ramsey upgraded Omniture to "outperform," arguing that the stock "represents a compelling risk/reward scenario for patient investors." According to FBR, Omniture's integration of new catch Visual Sciences is going well. What's more, FBR sees Omniture benefiting from the now-reduced competition in this sphere, which should permit it to raise prices and cross-sell services from one pre-merger firm's clients to the other's.

So why's the stock down?
That's the question of the hour. If things are going well enough at Omniture to win it an endorsement from FBR, why did the stock tumble yesterday -- and not just along with, but actually harder than, the rest of the market?

Perhaps part of the reason is that FBR hasn't given investors much cause to take its recommendations seriously. While its CAPS rating of 76.75 is respectable enough, the analyst still gets more of its picks wrong than right. Also disconcerting are the specific areas in which FBR does well -- and poorly. For example, when it comes to picking oil and gas stocks, FBR's not half bad:

Company

FBR Said:

CAPS Says (out of 5):

FBR's Pick Beating S&P By:

Halliburton (NYSE: HAL)

Outperform

****

40 points

Chevron (NYSE: CVX)

Outperform

*****

36 points

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP)

Outperform

*****

27 points

But move out of the oil patch and into the Internet sphere, and things start to go downhill right quick:

Company

FBR Said:

CAPS Says (out of 5):

FBR's Pick Lagging S&P By:

Akamai  (Nasdaq: AKAM) 

Outperform

****

17 points

comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR)

Outperform

***

22 points

salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM)

Underperform

*

55 points

So basically, what we're looking at here is a mediocre analyst, particularly bad at picking Internet-related stocks, telling people to buy an unprofitable Web analytics firm. Gee, I wonder why investors didn't respond to that ringing endorsement?

Hope springs eternal
Granted, if you look past the obvious flaws in Omniture's stock -- most notably, its failure to book a profit in any of the past four years -- and dig into the firm's cash flow statement, you may see some reason to hope FBR's latest foray into the Internet will pan out better than Akamai, comScore, or salesforce.com have.

According to that document, Omniture generated $6 million in free cash flow last year. While that may not seem like much to support the firm's $1.4 billion market cap, it's a darn sight better than Omniture did in 2006, or 2005, or 2004.

Foolish takeaway
Personally, I don't think it's enough better to justify the firm's enormous market cap, but that's just me. If you disagree, all I'd ask is that you drop by CAPS and tell us why.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor agrees with FBR, disagrees with me, and still recommends the stock. Pick up a free trial if you want to know why.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. Akamai is a Rule Breakers recommendation. You can find Rich on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 1,340 out of more than 86,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.