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 145,000-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:


Recent Price

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Stratasys  (NASDAQ:SSYS)



KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY)



Huntington Bancshares  (NASDAQ:HBAN)



Eastman Kodak






Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Up Last Month" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. Recent price provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Profits goeth before the fall
Up until just a couple weeks ago, Wall Street was riding high. The latter half of 2009 treated investors to beaucoup profits, and early January looked to continue the trend -- but no more. As January wound down, stock markets took a tumble, and as you can see up above, investor confidence is starting to go down with 'em. Not a single stock on Wall Street's shopping list gets bullish ratings from Main Street investors this week. In fact, the closest we come to actual optimism is on Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation Stratasys.

And that's great news. Here's why:

The bull case for Stratasys
CAPS All-Star Windsun33 calls Stratasys "a leader and prime innovator in the 3-D copying and reproduction field."

And if you're scratching your head, wondering just what the heck "3-D copying" is, don't fret. Fellow Fool Jack Uldrich sketches it out for you: "[3-D printing] uses computer-aided-design (CAD) data to help build physical objects layer by layer in three dimensions. In most cases, layers of liquids or powdered plastics are deposited by a printer, then sintered together into a computer-generated shape using ultraviolet light or a laser beam."

That sounds cool enough -- but this company's actually even better. Another of our All-Star investors, Nolte808, tells us just how cool Stratasys really is: "Pros: Disruptive technology ... Apparently best in class ... Profitable with no debt ... Run by founder ... Lucrative revenue stream with maintenance and 'printing' supplies ... Potential appeal all they way to consumer level."

Sounds great. I'm in!
Really? If so, you're in rare company. Since announcing its blockbuster alliance with Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) late last month -- news that sent the shares flying -- Stratasys has actually declined 15% in share price. Investors are nervous, giving the stock only three stars on CAPS, and if you look at the headline numbers alone, I think you can see why.

Selling for 125 times trailing earnings, and 47 times this year's consensus, Stratasys looks priced to the stars today. Worse still, Wall Street has the company pegged for just 16% long-term growth, meaning the stock looks overpriced, given its good-but-not-great growth. No wonder people are lukewarm on this stock!

Whatchootalkinbout, Wall Street?
Still, H-P doesn't usually ally itself with losers. (When you're competing with the likes of Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and IBM (NYSE:IBM), as H-P has been lately, you only want winners on your team.) And judging from H-P’s recent buying spree, Wall Street seems to agree that Stratasys is one of these winners. Moreover, as I argued last month, the company's strong free cash flow, verging on $20 million generated over the last 12 months, tells me the stock isn't nearly as overpriced as its P/E ratio suggests. The company is priced at "just" 23 times free cash flow.

Regardless, even as it snaps up Stratasys shares on the cheap for its own account, Wall Street's keeping strangely silent on the company's potential when publishing research for the rest of us. Despite Stratasys's assertion that the H-P deal will bring it to $500 million in annual revenue within five years (38% compound annual growth from today's levels), Wall Street's published estimates continue to insist that the company will grow at only 16%.

Foolish takeaway
By its words, Wall Street is telling us that Stratasys looks overpriced, and that we should stay away. But its actions indicate otherwise. Could it be that the bankers are cornering the market on Stratasys shares today, with the intention of only revealing the stock's potential after they've bought all they want?

I'm not usually one to go in for conspiracy theories, folks, but to be brutally honest, that's exactly what the facts suggest to me today. Wall Street is not disclosing what it already suspects.

My advice: Don't let 'em fool you. Stratasys is Strata-superb.

(Disagree? Click over to Motley Fool CAPS now, and tell us why.)

Fool contributor Rich Smith  does not own shares of any company named above, but Stratasys is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. You can find Rich on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 715 out of more than 145,000 members. The Fool has a disclosure policy.