When two of your primary competitors slide into the cold embrace of bankruptcy, it can be a great time to jump on departing customers and ratchet up your sales.

This is what Ford (NYSE:F) seems to have done as GM and Chrysler sought bankruptcy protection. In December, Ford's sales were up a whopping 32.7% from the prior year, and thanks to positive profits and cash flows over the past couple of quarters, the company may not have to worry about a bankruptcy filing of its own.

Ford's stock has reacted in kind, posting a wild 337% gain in 2009. A gain, I might add, that I completely missed because I was so focused on the company's debt situation.

And even though members of the Motley Fool CAPS community don't seem to be enamored of Ford's stock (it currently carries a two-star rating out of five), quite a few were able to rack up big points where others like me missed out. One of these Ford-lovin' CAPS members is nlieber, who scored an impressive 678 points by making a successful underperform call in September 2006 and then turning that thumb back up in November 2008.

nlieber is one of CAPS' All-Stars -- players with a rating of 80 or greater -- and has managed a stock-picking accuracy of 54% while racking up more than 1,100 points. Ford isn't this player's only great call. Here's a look at a few of the other prescient picks:

Company

Date Picked

Date Ended

Call

Points

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

AMD (NYSE:AMD)

12/26/08

Still Open

Outperform

305

**

ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGN)

12/15/08

Still Open

Outperform

66

****

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

6/12/09

Still Open

Outperform

52

****

Data from CAPS.

So what has this investor been looking at more recently? Here are a few of the most recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Corning (NYSE:GLW)

12/9/09

Outperform

*****

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)

12/9/09

Outperform

****

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY)

9/16/09

Outperform

****

Data from CAPS.

While not all of these picks may pan out, they could be a good place to start further research. I decided to take a closer look at Corning.

Still a good price?
The overwhelming sales of the iPhone suggest that Apple's smartphone is quite desirable. But what may seem like a good deal for consumers at $200 might not be quite so attractive at $400. And so it goes with stocks.

Back in late 2008 and early 2009, Corning's stock had been taken to the woodshed and was down near $8 per share. Though Corning finished 2008 relatively well, 2009 was looking bleak. However, many investors seemed to recognize that no matter how tough 2009 was going to be, the single-digit price tag was hardly warranted.

In fact, in December 2008, CAPS All-Star Otrex pounded the table, claiming the stock was simply too cheap:

A blue-chip company trading at this price? I am in, and you'll probably want to consider acquiring some too. Look for a share price of $12 by February and $18 by mid/late 2009.

Though the stock hadn't quite hit $12 by February -- it managed $11.91 on Feb. 9 -- Otrex was pretty much right on the money. Today, the stock has more than doubled from Otrex's original call.

But is Corning still a steal today? Analysts estimate that the company earned $1.33 per share for all of 2009, and that would give the stock a price-to-earnings ratio of 15. Meanwhile, analysts are expecting the company to be able to grow earnings at 13% per year over the longer term. If we take the classic shortcut of comparing P/E to growth rate, we could say that Corning is trading at a bit of a premium right now.

While I'm generally willing to pay a bit more for a top-flight company, I'm not sold that today's price gives investors much room for error on Corning. Particularly considering how leveraged the company is to the markets for LCD TVs and computer monitors. In other words, while I'm not betting against Corning, I'm not so sure we have a market-beater here.

But plenty of CAPS members have been betting in the other direction. In mid-December, for example, CAPS All-Star golfooler rated Corning an outperformer:

Corning will trend higher as consumers get back out and shop. As the second Holiday season of this recession takes place things are looking brighter and the stored demand will give GLW a nice boost.

But here's the important question: What's your take? Will Corning continue its run and outpace the market after all? Get in the action by clicking over to CAPS. It's absolutely free, and more than 145,000 stock pickers are chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

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Intuitive Surgical is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Ford Motor are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. 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. He is keeping a close eye on some of these stocks through his CAPS portfolio. You can also connect with Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool. The Fool's disclosure policy thinks working like a dog seems like a great life -- especially if you're Lucy (Matt's dog).