"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, too much complexity can often end in calamity.

In an effort to track down some of the 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 10%, and a high rating from the CAPS community.


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Price-to-Earnings Ratio

Return on Equity

Debt-to-Equity Ratio

Nokia (NYSE:NOK)





UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH)





Petrobras (NYSE:PBR)





Source: CAPS, as of Sept 25.

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 meant to be formal recommendations, they are a good starting point for further research. And on that note, let's take a closer look.

Opportunity calls
Though Nokia is the worldwide leader in mobile phones, the company gets little attention in the U.S. because it badly trails companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) in the hot smartphone market. Nokia's management isn't oblivious to this shortcoming and has recently rededicated the company to putting out tastier smartphone fare, and there have even been rumors that it may try to gobble up Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) to quickly bolster its position.

But while smartphones might provide more flash and bang than their clunkier predecessors, owning the U.S. smartphone market just isn't that crucial to an investment case for Nokia. It's the company's leadership position in so many other markets around the world -- including many in the fastest-growing countries -- that makes Nokia such a gem.

With well more than $10 billion in cash and short-term investments and a very manageable amount of debt, Nokia's balance sheet provides a significant amount of dry powder should the company opt for the acquisition route. And while the recessionary years have put a definite hitch in the company's step, it still remains solidly profitable and free cash flow positive.

Insuring under Obamacare
When we look at insurers like UnitedHealth and competitors WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) and Aetna, one issue looms over all the rest: health-care reform. For months now we've seen the health insurance sector get tossed about like a ship in a stormy sea as legislators have beat the reform drum in Washington.

As my fellow Fool Charly Travers recently pointed out, there may be lesser-known insurers like Amerigroup that could positively thrive under the new system. Many highly successful fund managers, though, have been making big bets on the insurance sector more broadly, realizing that it's highly unlikely that any government plan will wipe out private insurance the way some investors seem to fear.

With a very attractive return on equity and a trailing P/E of just 9, UnitedHealth's stock may just be too good to pass up.

The beauty of Brazilian oil
What can I really say? You've got Brazil -- one of the most attractive economies out there in terms of growth. You've got oil -- a commodity with continually climbing demand. And with Petrobras you get both.

The CAPS community certainly seems to think there's something alluring in Petrobras' stock. Of 3,823 total ratings, the stock has received 3,747 outperform calls. CAPS All-Star MajorMiner joined the bullish chorus back in August with a nod toward currency pressures and the supply/demand dynamics of the oil market:

The fundamental causes of high energy cost in 2008 has not gone away. The lending crisis slowed demand, but the underlying imbalance is still there. I expect the US dollar to drop because of China's dollar dumping and "quantitative easing". This sets up this ADR to be a real winner.

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 140,000 members already sharing their thoughts on thousands of stocks. It's free and open 24/7.

Further CAPS Foolishness:

UnitedHealth, Amerigroup, and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Nokia, UnitedHealth, and WellPoint are Inside Value selections. Petrobras is an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of UnitedHealth. 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.