Scraping together enough coin to win the annual auction for lunch with Warren Buffett is probably beyond most investors' means. With the proceeds going to charity, this year's winning bidder forked over $2.63 million for the privilege.

While we likely can't afford to break bread with the greats, we can peek at their stock ideas through their SEC filings. Here, we'll pore over some of the top investors' reports to see which stocks they've chosen as their best investments. We'll then check in with Motley Fool CAPS members to learn whether they agree.

First, the caveats ...

  • There's a delay between when the stocks were bought and when these investors filed their paperwork, so they might have sold out since.
  • These legends may be hot investors now, but that can change in an instant. Bill Miller was a wunderkind after beating the market 15 years in a row. Then he went cold for three. He came back in 2009, but we don't know what 2010 will bring.

Contrary to popular opinion
Fools should definitely do their own further research here. But in the meantime, let's take a look once again at well-known but controversial activist investor Carl Icahn, head of Icahn Partners. These days, he's seen more often wearing a white hat, shaking up sclerotic management to extract shareholder value, though it wasn't so long ago he was viewed as being on the other side, raiding corporate treasuries for his own profit.

Fund: Icahn Partners
No. of Stocks Owned: 24
Top 5 Holdings: ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals, Motorola, Biogen Idec, Genzyme, Chesapeake Energy
Top Sectors: Health Care, Technology, Oil & Gas

With a very concentrated portfolio of just two dozen stocks, let's look closer at a few of his most recent choices below.


Average Price

Current Price


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC)





Ensco (NYSE: ESV)





Smith & Wesson Holding (Nasdaq: SWHC)





Source: GuruFocus and Motley Fool CAPS.

Price is what you pay
The oil-drilling ban is playing havoc with individual drillers. For instance, Anadarko Petroleum -- which was part-owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that blew up in the Gulf of Mexico in April -- is trying to get out of its contract on one of Noble's (NYSE: NE) rigs because of the ban, and that's made analysts reassess Noble's ability to generate revenues from the rig. Anadarko has also been hit by a ratings downgrade on its debt.

Shares have been rising steadily since their June lows and are up by about 60% since then. CAPS member LMIMember says demand for oil will trump all: "What is going down now will go back up because of world demand for oil." It can't hurt that speculators are also trading on the possibility BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) might want to buy Anadarko.

Up in lights
Ensco hasn't had the benefit of speculation. Like Noble and Diamond Offshore (NYSE: DO), most of Ensco's revenues are derived from the Gulf of Mexico. There had been some hope that President Obama might lift the moratorium earlier than anticipated, but when the Interior Department released its new set of stringent drilling regulations, it also said the president will keep the ban in place. Yet CAPS member kenjotto is another who expects demand for oil to eventually keep Ensco afloat:

Totally oversold in reaction to the Gulf oil spill. ESV is well diversified throughout the globe, with a solid balance sheet and great plan for renewing equipment on a regular basis. The world will need oil for a while.

A sporting chance
It wasn't a moratorium that Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger (NYSE: RGR), or Baretta feared, but rather more stringent gun control regulations. Individuals feared it, too, and bought firearms at a fast clip last year, which helped push revenues higher for the gun makers. Now dealers are being more selective with their inventory choices and Smith & Wesson said first-quarter profits were cut in half. Worse, it expects only to break even this quarter when analysts had been expecting earnings of $0.11 per share.

It shouldn't have been such a surprise, though, since a drop in the number of background checks earlier this year portended fewer sales.

CAPS member BobDobalima says investors are looking down the wrong barrel when it comes to evaluating Smith & Wesson's future. Gun sales to police and military customers will help the gun maker hit the bull's-eye:

Governments around the world are spending more on their services to boost jobs. These services include their police and military. Smith & Wesson will benefit from increased government spending. Additionally, increased unrest due to things such as austerity programmes and increased crime due to depression/recession will increase firearm requirements.

Value is what you get
Become an investing legend yourself by starting 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.

Sign up today for the completely free service, and tell us whether these stocks are as good a value as these investing legends think they are.

Chesapeake Energy is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. The Fool owns shares of Ensco and Noble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.