At The Motley Fool, we poke plenty of fun at Wall Street analysts and their endless cycle of upgrades, downgrades, and "initiating coverage at neutral." So you might think we'd be the last people to give virtual ink to such "news." And we would be -- if that were all we were doing.

But in "This Just In," we don't simply tell you what the analysts said. We'll also show you whether they know what they're talking about. To help, we've enlisted Motley Fool CAPS, our tool for rating stocks and analysts alike. With CAPS, we track the long-term performance of Wall Street's best and brightest -- and its worst and sorriest, too.

And speaking of the best ...
Last week I explained why I'm so pessimistic about the "new and improved Motorola" reflected in Thursday's earnings report. This week, let's start off with a counterpoint, and give the bulls a chance to snort. Motorola's (NYSE:MOT) most recent champion is Broadpoint.AmTech, which upgraded the stock to "buy" on Friday.

Says AmTech: "We are upgrading MOT to Buy on the back of a solid report, improving balance sheet, and the promise of the Android ramp in the holiday season and beyond." Short-term, AmTech expects to see Motorola produce only $0.30 per share in profit next year (giving the stock a 24 forward P/E).

But the analyst isn't basing its recommendation solely on today's Motorola. Over the next six to 12 months, AmTech believes Motorola will evolve from a seller of "legacy $120 voice products" into a maker of "$300 Android units at a 35% gross margin." Considering that Motorola's Mobile Devices division currently loses money on every cell phone it sells, and that Motorola grosses less than 30% as a whole -- a leap to 35% gross margins in what's now the weakest division could make a big difference in how Motorola looks in 2011.

But what will it do to the stock price?
Ah, the eternal question. Obviously, AmTech thinks the stock price will go up. And judging from this analyst's record ... maybe it will. Because while no analyst is perfect, and AmTech has certainly made its share of wrong calls:

Stock

AmTech Says

CAPS Says

AmTech's Picks Lagging S&P By

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO)

Outperform

****

<1 point

Nokia (NYSE:NOK)

Outperform

****

2 points (three picks)

Alvarion (NASDAQ:ALVR)

Outperform

****

32 points

Overall, AmTech gets significantly more (about 56%) of its Communications Equipment tag recommendations right than wrong and has generally walloped the market in this sector:

Stock

AmTech Says

CAPS Says

AmTech's Picks Beating S&P By

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)

Outperform

**

204 points

Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR)

Outperform

***

28 points

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)

Outperform

***

11 points (two picks)

So you can see why investors might be heartened by AmTech's backing Motorola last week. Clearly, this banker knows how to work a telephone (maker) -- nor is it alone. In addition to AmTech, Morgan Keegan jumped on board the Motorola train last week, offering up an "outperform" rating of its own. Deutsche Bank likewise chimed in with words of support, reiterating its own buy rating on the stock.

Ahem.
Oh, yes. The bad news: Neither one of these other analysts has anything approaching AmTech's rousing record in communications equipment. Morgan Keegan gets just 41% of its picks right for that tag; Deutsche, 32%.

Foolish takeaway
There's a lot of enthusiasm out there for Motorola these days. I am just not buying into it. True, the company booked a profit, of sorts, last week. Yes, it cut costs and reduced the volume of red ink spilling from the gaping wound that is Motorola Mobile Devices. And heck, I'm even willing to concede that there's a possibility that Google Android will prove to be the savior that Motorola needs.

But I wouldn't bet money on it.

Alvarion is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Nokia is an Inside Value pick. To find out why, take a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Rich Smith owns shares of Nokia. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 772 out of more than 135,000 members. The Fool's disclosure policy tells all.