"We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful." -- Warren Buffett

Out of the quadrillions of quotations quarried from that most loquacious of quotationists, this one holds a special place in the hearts of Foolish investors. Are you looking to "buy low" so as to later "sell high"? If so, your best chance of getting that initial, low entry price comes when panicked sellers are unloading their shares at whatever price is on offer.

In today's column, we search the ranks of Wall Street's motivated sellers, noting which stocks they're most frantic to unload. Therein may lie the makings of a contrarian investor's shopping list. But don't just take my word for it. Before you decide to go in through Wall Street's out door, check your thinking against the collective intelligence of Motley Fool CAPS investors.

Today's contenders include:


Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

Frozen Food Express  (NASDAQ:FFEX)



Central Garden & Pet  (NASDAQ:CENT)



Micrus Endovascular  (NASDAQ:MEND)



Heidrick & Struggles  (NASDAQ:HSII)



Harman International  (NYSE:HAR)



LaBranche  (NYSE:LAB)



National Beverage (NASDAQ:FIZZ)



Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Down Last Month" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

The problem with pessimism
The trouble with going against the grain on Wall Street is that when professional traders get pessimistic, their grim outlook can become a self-fulfilling prophecy -- at least in the short term. The more desperate institutions become to abandon a stock, the lower the price they'll accept to get rid of it. And as their "ask" prices drop, the "bid" prices of buyers will fall in tandem, creating the very price decline that they feared in the first place.

Until the selling stops.

In through the out door
When it will stop is anybody's guess. But until it does, savvy investors have a chance to "get greedy" and snap up some bargains -- if bargains they truly be -- from these fearful sellers. This week, investors believe they have found a steal of a deal in the stock of refrigerated-truck company Frozen Food Express. More than nine out of every 10 investors polled on CAPS think this one's a buy. Let's find out why.

The bull case for Frozen Food Express
Frozen Food Express has been getting a lot of attention at Fool HQ lately. No fewer than three Fool staffers -- each a CAPS All-Star to boot -- have commented on it. Here's what they have to say.

TMFOrangeblood leads off:

This company has solid financials, but was kicked down quite a bit after an accounting mishap. But the CFO is gone and that's all behind them now. Currently trading for about 10 times earnings, and in a business (less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping) that is always has demand, I think it's worth a shot.

Fool co-founder Tom Gardner, who goes by the CAPS moniker TMFTomG, seems perhaps not Fool-y convinced, yet he's still interested:

Sure, I'll play the pop. That's what CAPS is for ... a chance to do what you'd almost never do in life, except with small change. In this case, heck, it's free. So on top of playing the pop (something I'd normally not do), I might as well emotionally cheerlead as well (another thing I avoid in my investments). C'mon, FFEX, baby! You've been trashed too far; give big daddy a little bounceback.

To which TMFBent penned this reply:

Yikes. You shoulda looked at the cash flow statement, man. And then, the complete lack o' moat! And the one-time revenue jump prior year from da hurricane biz.

What's got TMFBent so concerned? How about the nearly $9 million in free cash flow that Frozen Food Express burned through over the past year? That, plus the trailing price-to-earnings ratio that's closing rapidly on 19, suggests to me that the "pop" impending at Frozen Food Express may not be quite the one that Tom was expecting.

That said, no analysts currently track the company, and a P/E without a "G" attached to it is a valuation without context. If we give Tom the benefit of the doubt here (and when you observe that his recommendations for Motley Fool Hidden Gems have outperformed the S&P 500 by a good 32 points over the past four years, you might want to), and assume that he did, in fact, take the time to read the cash flow statement, you come up with a new question: What might have attracted him to Frozen Foods Express in the first place? I suspect it's the 36% in annual profits growth the company has racked up over the past five years, ignored by Wall Street all the while. If the company can maintain anything near that pace, even a P/E of 19 could be awfully cheap.

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't just to tell you what I think about Frozen Foods Express -- or even what our Foolish staffers' opinions are. We also want to hear your thoughts on the company. If you've got an opinion, we've got a place for you to voice it.

Motley Fool CAPS: It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

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 currently ranked No. 812 out of more than 65,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.