Stock analysts are just about as likely to be right with their forecasts as economists, meteorologists, and fortune tellers are. Actually, while the weatherman might not be right any more often, at least he has a scientific basis for his predictions. Everyone else is about as accurate as monkeys throwing darts or flipping coins.

Before the advent of Regulation FD, analysts were far more optimistic in their opinions. Today, they tend to think companies will underperform more than they do. State Street Global Advisors says that's because companies are "more explicit" in their guidance, hoping to minimize share-price volatility.

A guide to the future
If that's the case, then let's use the information companies provide to our advantage. When they announce earnings, they also often update guidance for the coming quarter and year. While these reports aren't 100% accurate, a company is presumed to know its business better than anyone. We can reasonably expect that its estimates would be better than most at predicting what the future will bring.

With the help of the Motley Fool CAPS investor-intelligence database, we can tap the collective thinking of more than 105,000 professional and novice investors on which stocks they think are best. We'll look at those companies that have guided higher and pair that information with stocks that CAPS believes have the best chance to outperform the market.

Here are five companies that have recently guided higher, coupled with what CAPS investors think:



Analyst Est./Previous Guidance

Updated Guidance

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS)





Nucor (NYSE:NUE)





Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO)





Agrium (NYSE:AGU)










Sources:; Motley Fool CAPS.

These are companies showing signs of growing their business, and they're followed by both analysts and the CAPS community. But this isn't a list of stocks to buy; instead, it's a list of suggestions for further research. In that vein, let's take a closer look at one of them.

Playing hardball
Take-Two Interactive isn't making it any easier for Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS) to acquire the game maker. Forget that the $25-and-change offer price values Take-Two at a miserly 15 times current-year earnings, even though it has the hottest property in gaming (Grand Theft Auto) and has posted another quarter of blowout earnings. All the while, Electronic Arts has to ratchet back its own expectations, and Take-Two investors are sitting pretty.

Looking at the different positions of the two companies, CAPS investors like BlindSkuirrel wonder that the Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation isn't the one making the acquisitions:

Are you kidding me, TTWO should be buying EA... come on wake up and smell the coffee. For that matter, TTWO should be buying (GameStop (NYSE:GME)) too.

Others, like CAPS investor JerichoHill, find the company's offerings a potent one-two gaming punch:

Take Two's gaming offerings are water and vinegar. On one side, the violent GTA series. And in the other hand, the strategy juggernaut Civilization. With Revolutions set to go out to multiple platforms, moving Civ from the PC to the console, I expect Take Two to outpace the market in the future.

Guide on!
We want to know your opinion on Take-Two. Your input can help guide other investors to stocks with bright prospects for growth. Head over to Motley Fool CAPS and let your voice lead the way.