Actions speak louder than words, as the old saying goes. So why does the media focus so much attention on what Wall Street says about companies, instead of what it does with them?
Luckily for Wall Street watchers, the Internet brings us MSN Money's list of which companies the institutions are buying. True, we should be as skeptical of Wall Street's actions as we are of its words. But when the 170,000-plus lay and professional investors on Motley Fool CAPS agree with Wall Street's opinions, it just might be time for some buying.
Here's the latest edition of Wall Street's Buy List, alongside our investors' opinions of the companies involved:
(out of 5)
China Nepstar Chain Drugstore
Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Up Last Month" list published on MSN Money after close of trading on Friday. Recent price provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.
Wall Street vs. Main Street
Up on Wall Street, the professionals think these stocks are the greatest things since sliced bread. (And by bread, I mean money.) Down here on Main Street, though, most Fools aren't so sure.
Oh, don't get me wrong -- each has its fans. CAPS member Robear1020 praises Metabolix's "biobased replacement" as a way to manufacture "spandex fibers, polyurethanes, engineering resins, and personal care products" without needing to use "non-renewable, fossil-based hydrocarbons; the total global market for these chemicals is over 2.5 billion pounds per year." CAPS member 1963spencer calls Seattle Genetics a leader in "cancer research." And discussing RINO International, CAPS All-Star TSIF says he's "willing to take a chance that well ran companies, important to China's future are going to continue to receive the support they need. RINO is in one of the best business's considering China's pollution issues and the global focus on our carbon footprint."
But the stock on today's list that offers the best combination of Wall Street love and individual investor esteem is a tiny druggist you've probably never heard of: China Nepstar Chain Drugstore. Here's why Fools like it.
The bull case for China Nepstar Chain Drugstore
Did I call Nepstar tiny? Well, it's a matter of perspective. At less than $350 million in annual revenue, and with a market cap just $100 million more than that, Nepstar is certainly no CVS Caremark
And it could happen. After all, Nepstar is filling a void in China. As njgheorghita points out, there is "no giant among the chinese pharmacies, and nepstar is quickly growing and in a good position to become this giant, via new health care reforms, and more old people in china."
As for how quickly it's growing, well, that's hard to say. Next year, for example, analysts are calling for 75% growth in Nepstar's profits. Longer-term, though, the consensus is for closer to 4% growth -- which adds up to the conclusion, I fear, that no one really knows how fast Nepstar will grow, or whether its growth will be enough to support the stock's pricey 43 P/E ratio.
Time to chime in
Personally, I'd rather see it grow at 75% than 4%, and I bet you would, too. But even in the worst-case scenario of 4% growth, Neptstar still pays its shareholders a generous 6% dividend yield. If it can keep that up (and with $175 million of cash in the bank, and not a drop of debt, it probably can), I suspect investors will do all right in any growth environment.
But that's just my opinion -- what do you think? Tell us -- on Motley Fool CAPS.
Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he was recently ranked No. 562 out of more than 170,000 members. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.