At The Motley Fool, we poke plenty of fun at Wall Street analysts and their endless cycle of upgrades, downgrades, and "initiating coverage at neutral." So you might think we'd be the last people to give virtual ink to such "news." And we would be -- if that were all we did.

But in "This Just In," we don't simply tell you what the analysts said. We'll also show you whether they know what they're talking about. To help, we've enlisted Motley Fool CAPS, our tool for rating stocks and analysts alike. With CAPS, we'll be tracking the long-term performance of Wall Street's best and brightest -- and its worst and sorriest, too.

And speaking of the best ...
When you're right, you're right -- and Citigroup sure looks to have been right when it recommended buying Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation Bankrate (Nasdaq: RATE) back in December.

As I wrote back then, the megabanker predicted that in buying Nationwide Card Services and Savingforcollege.com, Bankrate diversified its revenue base and got a chance to "materially boost earnings." Although there's hardly been time for either of those things to play out yet, investors have bid up Bankrate shares 23% in less than two months -- even as the rest of the market sold off. So what's an investment banker to do when the market proves it right in record time?

Sell!
Or, at least, downgrade to hold. That's what happened this morning, as Citigroup decided to take its winnings but erase its stamp of approval on buying more Bankrate shares. Wait and see what happens at this point, Citibank says. Should you listen?

Let's go to the tape
With a CAPS rating of 93.60, Citigroup ranks in the top 10% of investors we track CAPS. It's gotten here not by dint of consistent accuracy, however, but rather despite a lack of it. Fact of the matter is, Citigroup's analysts are nearly as often wrong as they are right, as illustrated by picks such as these.

Company

Citi Said:

CAPS Says (5 Max):

Citi's Pick Lagging S&P by:

Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM)

Underperform

**

20 points

Capital One (NYSE: COF)

Underperform

**

22 points

US Bancorp (NYSE: USB)

Underperform

****

11 points

Wow. For a banker, Citi has a surprisingly poor grasp of the banking industry. Luckily for investors, Bankrate is no bank itself. It's an Internet-based information broker and ad seller that piggybacks on the banking industry. So let's see whether Citi does any better with Internet companies.

Company

Citi Said:

CAPS Says:

Citi's Pick Beating S&P by:

Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU)

Outperform

**

38 points

Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN)

Outperform

**

12 points

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)

Outperform

**

8 points

Now that's more like it. Internet investing appears to be a forte for Citigroup. Moreover, having been so right, so recently, on Bankrate itself lends further strength to Citi's advice that now is not the time to chase Bankrate up the ladder.

Foolish takeaway
With the stock currently trading for a PEG of about 2, and a price-to-free cash flow ratio in the mid-30s, I'm a Fool for the Citi on this one. Much as I love Bankrate, and as confident as I am in the analysis of our growth-investing team at Motley Fool Rule Breakers, Bankrate's simply priced too richly for me today. My advice: Wait for better prices before adding to this one.

Both Baidu and Bankrate are picks in Rule Breakers. Priceline was chosen for Stock Advisor and US Bancorp and WaMu are selections in Income Investor.

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's ranked No. 415 out of more than 83,000 players. The Fool's disclosure policy is just waiting for you to read it.