The first 100 days in office set the tone for any new President. Similarly, Motley Fool CAPS keeps an eye on its investors' early progress. Some of CAPS' best -- we call them All-Stars -- have achieved scores of 100 on stock selections in their first 100 days within our investing community. We're looking at top players who racked up big gains right out of the gate, and seeing which stocks they now consider poised for success.

One of our highest-rated CAPS members is kdakota630, who sports a near-perfect 99.89 member rating. A member since October 2007, kdakota630 currently has 176 active picks on CAPS, out of more than 983 stock picks made. Achieving 72% accuracy, kdakota630 has also already attracted 57 "groupies," CAPS players who've listed this leading investor as one of their favorites.

Here are a few of this top member's most recent stock selections, and how they were rated.


CAPS Rating  (5 max)



Current Score

Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD)





Cliffs Natural Resources





International Coal Group





ITT Educational Services





Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW)





Mosaic (NYSE:MOS)





Precision Drilling Trust (NYSE:PDS)





Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU)










Ultrashort Financial Proshares (NYSE:SKF)





Source: Motley Fool CAPS.
*Price when call was made. Current score is how many points a member is beating (lagging) the S&P500 index from the time of the call.

Let's take a look at what other CAPS members are saying about Buffalo Wild Wings, and whether they agree with this top player's assessment.

Buffaloing the competition
To the casual observer, the stock market must seem as random as a crapshoot. The recession's supposed to make everyone eat out less; in theory, supermarkets should thus do better as people shop for groceries to eat at home. Yet Safeway (NYSE:SWY) recently reported profits that missed expectations, on anemic sales that rose only as a result of an extra week in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, casual-dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings turned in a wild card of a quarter, with profits and sales both rising.

Understanding bizarre moves like this one takes a little digging. B-Wild's success rests less with its casual-dining status, and more with its careful site selection. Management scours areas looking for spots close to both big-box retailers -- "Hey, honey! After loading all the gigunda-sized cartons in the car, let's grab some wings and beer!" -- and multiplex movie theaters, to capture the post-blockbuster crowds.

B-Wild also benefitted in the fourth quarter from a surfeit of football games, both college and professional, that mixed well with beer and wings. Add in baseball's World Series, almost timed these days to clash with the winter leagues, and you've got a suds-drenched, spicy wing-a-palooza.

Growth has a cost, however. Some investors believe that Buffalo Wild Wings' continued expansion will get stung by the tail of this recession. CAPS member CharlieBombay fears the business's capital-intensive nature will ultimately weigh down performance:

I don't usually like to short companies with strong revenue growth. But this growth comes from heavy expansion at the end of a bubble. Earnings growth has been limited due to a heavier cost structure. Once revenue does start to take a hit (and believe me it will), the cost structure will kill them. Short-term overbought.

At 23 times trailing earnings, the beer-and-wings joint is not cheap. Even its average industry peer trades at just half that value. But management is confident that 2009 holds even more improvement. Same-store sales are up 8% so far in the first quarter, allowing the company to reiterate its full-year forecast of 15% unit growth, 25% revenue growth, and between 20% and 25% earnings growth. I'd use that as an excuse to order up another round.

A 1-in-100 opportunity
Some of the best and smartest members in the CAPS investor intelligence community have made their mark, but it pays to start your own 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.

As hockey great Wayne Gretzky once noted, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." At Motley Fool CAPS, every investor's opinion counts. Since it's free to sign up, why not use this opportunity to take your best shot?

Precision Drilling is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Buffalo Wild Wings is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. The Fool owns shares of Terex and Buffalo Wild Wings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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