Momentum investors love to back companies with the wind in their sails. Contrarian investors typically pick up the cigar butts the market has tossed aside. So what do you call investors who turn against winners? Sourpusses? Shorts?

Over on Motley Fool CAPS, we sometimes call them the savviest investors around. When one of our All-Star players -- those whose stock-picking prowess places them in at least the 80th percentile of our community -- sours on a top-rated stock, perhaps we should take notice. Perhaps the players found a chink in that highflier's armor, or a question mark in its financial footnotes. Or maybe it's just a hunch. That's why these tables aren't lists of stocks to buy or sell -- just starting points for further research.

Here's a list of stocks that some All-Stars have recently spurned:

Company

CAPS Rating

1-Year Return

CAPS All-Star

Player Rating

McDermott International (NYSE: MDR)

*****

129.6%

c2morrow

80.38

Transocean (NYSE: RIG)

*****

89.8%

sarkasm

91.46

Ternium (NYSE: TX)

*****

39.1%

ronmcpeek

96.74

Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY)

*****

34.8%

motleyanimal

98.80

Atheros Communications (Nasdaq: ATHR)

*****

13.2%

farhangp

83.91

Considering that, on average, more than 97% of all the investors think these companies will outperform the market, what might have turned some of CAPS top players against these otherwise widely admired companies?

A golden opportunity
With many believing the economy is on the precipice of a full-blown recession, gold broke through the $900 barrier and did so more quickly than analysts had anticipated. Investors have held the yellow metal in thrall for a while now, and it seems to be gaining momentum as people fall back on the one metal that always seems to be in demand.

More than 1,600 investors have weighed Yamana Gold in the balance, and only a couple score believe it will underperform. Few have penned their reasons for thinking it will underperform, though. Like cheetahracing, those who have panned the company believe that in the longer term, it's still a viable investment. "Recent new high in gold price, and exceptional media coverage has helped it back up near the 52 week high. It may surpass that, but I expect a pullback in the next few weeks, during which I'll go long for a longer time frame."

For Yamana bulls, it already represents an attractive proposition. In addition to hedging against inflationary pressures and a weakening economy, CAPS investors like geohjr see demand for gold increasing in other countries, making an investment in Yamana one that every portfolio needs.

You have to have some in your portfolio. Protection against inflation, weaker dollar. ... The population in China and India sees gold as a store of wealth and as their economy grows, so will the demand for gold. Additionally, management is indicating it will increase the dividend. This will be a long term winner.

With 7 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves, coupled with the addition of copper to its holdings, Yamana might just be glittering brightly as gold's price continues its ascent.

Make lemonade from lemons
We know both sides here, but Motley Fool CAPS is more than what some pros think, even if they're All-Stars. It's where we invite you to share your thoughts and insights and add your voice to the debate. Go ahead -- have your say. We're eagerly waiting!

Atheros Communications is a recommendation of Motley Fool Hidden Gems. You'll end up loathing yourself if you don't take advantage of the 30-day free trial offer to see what other gilt investments Hidden Gems has found.

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.