If actions speak louder than words, as we all know, why doesn't the media focus much attention on what Wall Street does with companies, and not just what Wall Street says about them?

Luckily for Street watchers, the Internet brings us MSN Money's list of companies the institutions are buying. True, we should be as skeptical of Wall Street's actions as we are of its words. But when the 86,000-plus lay and professional investors on Motley Fool CAPS agree with Wall Street's opinions, it just might be time for some buying.

Here's the latest edition of Wall Street's Buy List, the prices, and our investors' ratings of the companies involved:


CAPS Rating
(5 max):

OmniVision Technologies
(Nasdaq: OVTI)



Bruker BioSciences
(Nasdaq: BRKR)



BPZ Resources



Maxwell Technologies
(Nasdaq: MXWL)



Navigant Consulting



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

Wall Street vs. Main Street
Wall Street's wizards appear to be playing it safe this week, sticking to stocks that even ordinary investors believe will outperform the market. No "flyers" here -- just a trio of safely average-rated stocks, and a couple of above-average four-stars.

Which of the lucky latter two shall we profile today? This being an election year, I'm going with community favorite "CameraChip" maker OmniVision, which has won "outperform" ratings from 94% of the 560 investors who've rated it on CAPS.

The bull case for OmniVision Technologies

  • Ozpilot gave us a brief introduction to the company last summer:
    "[OmniVision] builds chips which are used as small cameras in a host of applications. They regularly come out with new products such as near IR capability combined with normal color in a single product small enough to hold on a finger. Demand being in the cell phone industry and other semi pricey items, their sales are linked to a cyclical end consumer demand reflected in their charts."
  • Now, many companies compete with OmniVision in camera chips -- Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), Micron (NYSE: MU), and Matsushita (NYSE: MC) to name a few. But reading through the dozens of pitches on OmniVision, it quickly becomes clear that the company has a secret weapon: wavefront coding. mikewa explains:
    "Wave Front Coding for mobile phone / digital camera image sensors will eliminate the need for bulky auto-focus lens assemblies. This means photos will be always in focus, and no auto-focus delays -- instant shots."
  • So far, so good. Any other reasons to own OmniVision? richardrogers4 suggests:
    "Experience management team - founders still running company. Strong balance sheet - little debt & solid cash flow. Good drivers for business including increasing incorporation of cameras in cell phones and image sensors being embedded in notebooks."

Checking those statements, I find more than $330 million in net cash on OmniVision's balance sheet, and cash makes up more than one-third of the company's market cap. In cash flow, the company's just-released 10-Q filing shows that OmniVision has generated $62.7 million in free cash flow year-to-date -- not bad, considering that it was free cash flow-negative at this point last year.

On a trailing basis, free cash flow comes in at $83 million, which prices the stock at about 11 times free cash flow. Not bad for a company that analysts expect will grow earnings by an average of 16% per year going forward.

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't to tell you what I think about OmniVision Technologies -- or even what other CAPS players say. We want to hear your thoughts. Is this stock as cheap as it seems? Click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and tell us what you think.

Motley Fool CAPS: It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

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. 1,150 out of more than 86,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.