Momentum investors love to back companies with the wind in their sails. Contrarian investors typically pick up the cigar butts the market has tossed aside. So what do you call investors who turn against winners? Sourpusses? Shorts?

Over on Motley Fool CAPS, we sometimes call them the savviest investors around. When one of the community's All-Star members -- those whose stock-picking prowess places them in at least the 80th percentile of our community -- sours on a top-rated stock, perhaps we should take notice. Perhaps the member's found a chink in that highflier's armor, or a question mark in its financial footnotes. Or maybe it's just a hunch. That's why these tables aren't lists of stocks to buy or sell -- just starting points for further research.

Here's a list of stocks that some All-Stars have recently spurned:

Company

CAPS Rating (5 max)

Est. LT EPS Growth

CAPS All-Star

Member Rating

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC)

****

7%

oldnbroke441

90.46

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT)

****

11%

MaskedMan2007

99.61

Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS)

*****

7%

TrackRBCCapMkts

94.87

BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP)

*****

9%

GreenAB

99.75

Enbridge (NYSE:ENB)

****

11%

jmt587

99.79

Source: Yahoo! Finance; Motley Fool CAPS.

Considering that, on average, 96% of all members rating these companies think they will outperform the market, what might have turned some of CAPS' top players against them?

Fear and loathing
As much as the deals that Applied Materials has made with solar-power plays like LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK) and its use of its equipment to fabricate thin-film transistor LCDs for televisions have diversified its lines of business, CAPS members like wsubora aren't sold that it's enough to combat the weakness in Applied Materials' core business:

New orders are down, profits are down. Net sales have decreased [dramatically] (28% by estimate). While Solar and LCD sales are up, they don't fully compensate for the down turn in the core business. I see a lackluster 4thQ and 2009 for them.

BHP Billliton has been trying to acquire RioTinto (NYSE:RTP), and there are reports today that European regulators have halted their examination because they haven't received certain information. While they promise to take the matter up again as soon as the data is received, the delay could end up setting back the targeted end-of-year completion date. This comes on top of other wrinkles rattling the measure.

CAPS member sid187 thinks that the commodities giant will prosper nonetheless, because the growth in earnings and demand herald continued progress:

BHP whats not to like about this stock.

diversified in many commodities, metals, oil, coal, uranium, natural gas, diamonds.

I see this stock climbing beyond 100 a share.

Earnings looking extremely good.

Growth is extremely good.

Largest mining entity in the world.

Some say that commodities have exploded and popped.

Sid will tell you they simply got ahead of themselves and have corrected and now will resume heading up.

With these commodities they take the stairs up and the elevator on the way down when panic and desire to take profits overtake the strong outlook on this sector.

Like other oil and gas producers, Anadarko Petroleum finds its shares wilting under the pressure of oil prices, but the independent producer has a bright idea: Buy back a huge chunk of its shares and fund the purchase out of free cash flow. CAPS member os400 thinks Anadarko is priced as if oil were going to fall an additional 20% or more in price, something this member doesn't foresee happening anytime soon:

Anadarko Petroleum. Oil companies are priced as though the oil is going to drop to $80/bbl. I don't actually own this stock but the fundamentals look very good and the technicals are good.

Make lemonade from lemons
It pays to start your research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made -- all from a stock's CAPS page. We've seen the direction some investors have indicated they believe these companies are heading, but Motley Fool CAPS is more than what the pros think, even if they're All-Stars. Let's hear what you have to say!

The Bank of Nova Scotia is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.