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 were doing.

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 track the long-term performance of Wall Street's best and brightest -- and its worst and sorriest, too.

And speaking of the best ...
I've got good news for Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) investors today ... and bad news, too.

I'll give you the good news up front. On Monday, the Internet traffic cop received a pair of bullish upgrades from two of Wall Street's finest. First, Wedbush Morgan announced that it has reviewed the threats to Akamai's business and concluded that: "Akamai's current margin structure is sustainable over the next 12-24 months."

That's how long Wedbush thinks it will take for bandwidth-hungry high-definition video traffic to arrive in force and begin eating away at Akamai's beefy 82% gross margin. In the meantime, Wedbush sees Akamai's low-margin Advertising Solutions revenue growing quickly, but "modest" enough not to hurt the rest of the business too mcuh. Moreover, the company's other near-term fast grower -- mobile video content -- "is likely the next area of growth for content delivery networks, which could positively impact margins."

All together, Wedbush sees overall margins for the company holding firm throughout 2010, and perhaps into 2011.

Me, too!
A supporting upgrade from Pacific Crest added to the good news. It echoed Wedbush's confidence on the 2010 outlook, expressed further confidence for the longer term, and pointed out that like the third bear in the Goldilocks tale, Akamai's now-secure margins are just right to please shareholders and corporate customers alike. According to Pacific Crest, "We believe its pricing strategy is helping the company retain and add customers, and increase its market share."

Happy days are here again?
You'd think so. Wedbush's logic seems sound, and it's backed up by (the unrated) Pacific Crest. And Wedbush has been on a hot streak with similar "Internet Software and Services" picks lately, with 78% of its active recommendations currently outperforming the market:

Companies

Wedbush Says:

CAPS Says:

Wedbush's Active Picks
Beating S&P by:

AsiaInfo Holdings

Outperform

***

6 points

IAC (NASDAQ:IACI)

Outperform

****

7 points

InfoSpace

Outperform

**

45 points

Unfortunately, if you look a little deeper into Wedbush's record, the plot to this story takes a disturbing turn:

Companies

Wedbush Says:

CAPS Says:

Wedbush's Ended Picks
Lagging S&P by:

VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN)

Outperform

**

18 points

Saba Software

Outperform

**

36 points

Akamai Technologies

Outperform

*****

41 points

Yes, you read that right. Every single one of the picks in this sector that Wedbush has closed over the last three years has resulted in a loss. And Akamai was one of its biggest losers of all.

Foreshadowing
Wedbush Morgan is dead wrong about Akamai -- because its major thesis in favor of Akamai is dead wrong.

Fools, the HD revolution is not 12 to 24 months away. Heck, it's not even knocking on your front door today. In fact, the HD Revolution has already jimmied the lock on your front door and made a beeline for your living room.

From the beaucoup bucks Corning (NYSE:GLW) is raking in selling glass for LCD TVs, to the similarly vast revenue Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) collects for selling you the sets, to the big fat boast-fest going on among DirecTV (NYSE:DTV), Dish Networks, and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) over who's got "the most full HD channels available," it's painfully clear that the age of HD is already here.

Foolish takeaway
If Wedbush is right that more HD means bad things for Akamai, then it's wrong about Akamai's margins holding up this year. Even in the very best scenario, if Wedbush is wrong about the peril HD poses, the stock still looks awfully expensive at 33 times earnings.

Either way, I predict that sooner or later, this week's Akamai pick will end up in Wedbush Morgan's collection of recommendations it wishes it had never made.

As fellow Fool Tim Beyers just informed us, Akamai is about to report earnings Wednesday. Will tomorrow's news surprise us? Take our poll and tell us!

Best Buy is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Best Buy is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 684 out of more than 145,000 members. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.