Now that the battle for control of Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) has died down, what can we say about Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)? There's always the ongoing battle with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) on both the computer and music-player fronts. Or the butting of heads with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) on the Internet scene. And there's always Jerry Seinfeld.

But perhaps the most notable thing about Microsoft is its current volatility. After running up almost 30% between August and October of last year, the stock has shed that gain and then some. So where is this massive company headed next?

On Motley Fool CAPS, more than 10,000 investors follow the ups and downs of Microsoft and are weighing in on its future. Of the many thousands of members who have been on the right side of Microsoft's stock, none has read the stock better than nesselsdorf1187. This CAPS participant has made three calls on Microsoft, two bullish and one bearish, and has been right on all three -- enough to score a neat 36 points.

Our nesselsdorf1187 is also one of CAPS' All-Stars -- players with a rating of 80 or greater -- and he has managed an impressive stock-picking accuracy of 70% on his calls while he's racked up more than 475 points. Microsoft hasn't been his only great call, either. Here's a look at a few of his other prescient picks:

Company

Date Picked

Call

Points

CAPS Rating (5 Max)

Northwest Airlines (NYSE:NWA)

2/14/07

Underperform

99

*

Chesapeake Energy

2/28/07

Outperform

77

*****

Walter Industries

8/7/07

Outperform

57

***

Data from CAPS. Points is number of percentage points by which a call is beating the S&P 500 from the date picked.

So what is this investor looking at these days? Here are a few of his most recent calls on CAPS:

Company

Date Picked

Call

CAPS Rating

Valero (NYSE:VLO)

8/11/08

Outperform

****

Middleby (NASDAQ:MIDD)

7/28/08

Outperform

*****

Chipotle Mexican Grill

7/28/08

Outperform

***

Data from CAPS.

Although not all of these picks may pan out, they could be a good place to start some further research. I decided to take a closer look at Middleby.

The wonderful world of food-service equipment
As a manufacturer of restaurant ovens, conveyer toasters, and the like, Middleby has a business that's about as exciting as a documentary on the migration patterns of the yellow-billed loon. Middleby's stock's performance, however, has been anything but dull since 2002 -- its price has enjoyed a nearly 25-fold increase.

The surge has been a result of savvy management and smart acquisitions that made this Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick a big player in the market that it serves. And with the constant expansion of food-service businesses in the U.S., this is by no means a small market.

But more recently, the antidepressant-worthy demeanor of the market has taken a bite out of Middleby's stock -- it's gone from a 52-week high of $79 down to today's $52. Even a stellar second-quarter earnings report couldn't go unpunished, as investors got uppity over the proposed acquisition of competitor TurboChef.

Even if Mr. Market is depressed, CAPS members have been positive and are staying positive on Middleby. Nearly 97% of the 2,700-plus members who have rated the stock think it will outperform the market. TMFDitty -- one of those bulls -- gave this little ditty on Middleby way back in the summer of 2006: "Strong free cash flow, a low P/E, and smart management that scoops up cheap shares and cheap companies regularly, while backing out of deals when they get too pricey. How can you not love Middleby?"

So what's your take on Middleby? Is it just too cheap to pass up? Get in the action by heading over to CAPS. The service is absolutely free and already has more than 115,000 stock pickers chipping in to find the best stocks out there.

More CAPS Foolishness:

Middleby and Chipotle Mexican Grill are Motley Fool Hidden Gems selections. Microsoft and Chesapeake Energy are Inside Value recommendations. Google and Chipotle Mexican Grill are Rule Breakers picks. Apple is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy made its own great call by visiting the new Dunkin Donuts near its house -- gotta love that light and sweet DD coffee!