Apparently a coffee a day isn't keeping the slowdown away for java slinger Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX). The credit crunch is rapidly becoming a consumer crunch, forcing Starbucks' customers to keep that latte money in the piggy bank. A week ago, Starbucks revealed the extent to which that's happening, and the market was not amused.

Starbucks currently carries a two-star rating in The Motley Fool's CAPS community, down from an earlier three-star rating. Among the 6,000-plus CAPS members who have rated the stock, none has read it better than epc53, who has put a thumbs-down on Starbucks a total of 17 times since late 2006 and grabbed a sweet 74 points in the process.

One of CAPS' All-Stars -- players with a rating of 80 or greater -- epc53 has managed a stock-picking accuracy of 54% while racking up an impressive 3,762 points. Starbucks hasn't been this player's only great call, either. Here's a look at a few of epc53's other prescient picks:

Company

Date Picked

Call

Points

CAPS Rating (Out of 5) 

China Natural Resources (Nasdaq: CHNR)

9/26/07

Outperform

154

**

Navteq (NYSE: NVT)

3/29/07

Outperform

113

*****

Aluminum Corp. of China (NYSE: ACH)

4/10/07

Outperform

98

*****

Data from CAPS.

So what is this investor looking at these days? Here are some of epc53's most recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

Vale (NYSE: RIO)

4/16/08

Outperform

*****

Petroleo Brasileiro (NYSE: PBR)

4/21/08

Outperform

*****

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD)

4/25/08

Outperform

****

Data from CAPS.

Not all of these picks may pan out, but they could be a good place to start some further research. I decided to take a closer look at McDonald's.

No clown of a stock
Why should we be thinking McDonald's right now? Well, for one, Ronald McDonald -- clown paint and all -- is challenging Starbucks' position in premium coffee drinks. And many think ol' McDonald has a chance to steal some business. CAPS All-Star abitarecatania put his thumb down on Starbucks for exactly that reason, jibing:

There is a new sheriff in coffee town, Ronald McDonald. The angry red headed, red nosed, and red shoed clown will beat the Starbucks Mermaid like a red headed step-child ...nothing but pain and suffering for the Mermaid, the [Starbucks] baristas and [Starbucks] shareholders.

Meanwhile, McD's base of burgers and fries continue to drive profits. Same-store sales were soft in its most recent quarter, but profits were impressive. And looking ahead, McDonald's should weather a downturn in the U.S. better than most of its peers, thanks to its strong brand presence and popular value menu.

And let's not forget about global growth. As it is, McDonald's operates some 31,000 restaurants around the world -- and it's still growing. CAPS player dwyanetyree thought that this was a great reason to stick his thumb up on the stock, noting: "Outside of the U.S. [McDonald's] is a luxury item. With 150 a year being built in China and less than 45% of all MCD locations in the states, there is great potential for international growth."

So what's your take on McDonald's? Get in the action by clicking over to CAPS. CAPS is absolutely free and already has more than 100,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Petroleo Brasileiro is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation, Starbucks is a Motley Fool Inside Value and Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, Navteq is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy made its own great call by chugging an extra cup of java this morning.