The first 100 days in office set the tone for any new president. Similarly, Motley Fool CAPS keeps an eye on how well investors do in their first 100 days. Some of our best -- we call them All-Stars -- have achieved scores of 100 on stock selections in their first 100 days on CAPS. In this column, we're looking at our best members who made some of their best stock selections early on and seeing which ones they think will be best next.

One of our highest-rated CAPS members is LawfordCap, who sports a top 99.96 member rating. A member since November 2007, LawfordCap currently has 173 active picks on CAPS out of more than 1,000 stock picks made. Achieving a nearly 78% accuracy, LawfordCap has attracted 29 "groupies," CAPS members who've listed this leading investor as one of their favorites.

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


CAPS Rating (out of 5)



Current Score

Crosstex Energy (NASDAQ:XTEX)





Goodyear Tire (NYSE:GT)





Gramercy Capital





Liz Claiborne





Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX)





Pep Boys (NYSE:PBY)










Smithfield Foods





Tyson Foods





ValueVision Media (NASDAQ:VVTV)





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 a couple of these stocks and whether they agree with this member's assessment.

Degree of risk
With the push on for more alternatives to foreign sources of fossil fuels, look for ethanol producers such as Pacific Ethanol and Green Plains Renewable Energy to see a jump in their business, let alone profits. The latter said it was the combination of a bumper corn crop last year and higher demand for ethanol that pushed it to a fourth-quarter profit.

Those were just the factors that CAPS member Germanhabebe said last month were going to come into play to push Pacific Ethanol up as well: "Great corn crop last fall, government mandated increase in demand from 9B to 12B, global recovery, bad sugar crops (their competition), increased price of oil will draw people to cheaper ethanol prices, there's a possibility to up the 90/10 oil to ethanol ratio to 85/15 oil to ethanol."

Corn-based ethanol got a bad rap as a source of higher food prices and sugar-based ethanol was seen as an alternative. That's turning out to be no panacea either, as the poor sugar cane crops in Brazil -- the world's largest producer of sugar ethanol -- is causing sugar prices to spike. That puts the bind on food processors such as Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM) as they get caught between the pincers of commodity cost inflation and food price deflation.

With only one analyst following Pacific Ethanol and forecasting a 77% decline in revenue this quarter, the ethanol producer might very well surprise the market when it reports its own earnings. Shares have already rallied by 13% over the past week or so.  

Burning rubber
Price increases also helped Goodyear Tire post a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit while its ailing North American business lost less than anticipated. The tire maker has quietly suffered with the demise of the U.S. auto industry, but because of its far-flung global operations, business has otherwise been relatively strong. Growing markets in China, Europe, and elsewhere have shored up the decline in what used to be the world's biggest car market. Sales in the Asia Pacific division, for example, jumped by 28% last quarter.

In a pitch from last month, CAPS member colts1958 was looking for demand to return to the automotive industry as a means of boosting Goodyear's prospects further:

major modernization is taking place right now in all north american tire factories, including mine. this will meet customer demand for long range supply. people are now driving more and … the car sales are starting to increase.

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. And since it's free to sign up, why not use this opportunity to take your best shot?

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.