"I like to go for cinches. I like to shoot fish in a barrel. But I like to do it after the water has run out."
-- Warren Buffett

History seems to show that good investing doesn't necessarily mean picking out complex situations and basing your investment thesis on Nobel-level math. In fact, as the current financial crisis has shown us -- not to mention the Long Term Capital Management hedge fund, and many other examples -- too much complexity can often end in calamity.

In an effort to track down companies that may fall into that "fish in a barrel" category, I've turned to The Motley Fool's CAPS community. Using CAPS' stock screener, I looked for companies that have a price-to-earnings ratio below 15, a long-term debt-to-equity ratio below 50%, a return on equity above 12%, and a high rating from our CAPS community.


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Price-to-Earnings Ratio

Return on Equity

Debt-to-Equity Ratio

ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM)





Stryker (NYSE:SYK)





Walgreen (NYSE:WAG)





Source: CAPS.

These are just three of the results that the CAPS screener spit out; you can run the same screen yourself to see the rest of the companies that made the cut. While the three companies above aren't formal recommendations, they are a good starting point for further research. And on that note, let's take a closer look at each company.

The greatest company?
OK, so leadership at ExxonMobil may not be the most candid. And investing in the world of big oil may not give you that warm and fuzzy feeling that you're doing something great for mankind. But we're looking for top investment opportunities here, and there's good reason to think that the energy space is one of them.

But why Exxon over competitors like Chevron (NYSE:CVX) or BP? Size and clout have a lot to do with it, but fellow Fool Joe Magyer also highlighted the fact that a top Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) analyst called the company "the world's greatest company."

A four-star CAPS rating is one star short of perfect, but it's high enough to suggest that CAPS members agree that this is a stock to watch.

Shaking the joint
Stryker may not be the household name that Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) are, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a great investment opportunity. Heck, some of the greatest long-term stock performances come from companies that aren't the most exciting.

It's the fact that Stryker makes products that are in high demand that makes it such a compelling investment opportunity. The company is one of the leaders in joint replacement products (like knees and hips), but it also has a thriving business selling equipment and tools used in surgery. From an investor's perspective, it also doesn't hurt that top brass at Stryker own a significant portion of the company.

Investors looking for fast times may have overlooked Stryker, but the members of the CAPS community haven't; they've given it a perfect five-star rating.

The demand for drugs
It's hard to walk out of your front door these days without tripping over a Walgreens store. Of course the company would consider this a good thing, since part of its ongoing strategy is to be the most convenient place for folks to have their prescriptions filled.

The four-star rating that Walgreen has on CAPS suggests that the stock of this drug slinger is definitely worth consideration. For a closer look at why, let's see what CAPS member pharmjod2005 recently said when giving the stock a thumbs-up:

Walgreens has spent the money now to better control costs. These expenses should pay off huge in the next few years. Plus, the company has been around for more than 100 years. It knows how to survive and thrive.

Getting down to business
Now the CAPS community wants you. Do you think these stocks make sense? Or is the community off base in its faith? Head over to CAPS and join the 135,000 members already sharing their thoughts on thousands of stocks.

Don't stop here! Be sure to check out:

Pfizer and Stryker are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. The Fool owns shares of Stryker. 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. You can check out the stocks that he is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS page, or you can connect with him on Twitter as @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy is chillaxin' because it's too busy to chill and relax separately.