Whether it's the corporate lunchroom, your cubicle, or the local watering hole after work, there are regular places we gather to discuss news, sports, or -- if you're like us -- stocks. Here at Motley Fool CAPS, we gather around the virtual water cooler daily to rate stocks and delve into their merits as investments.

In our CAPS community -- where 160,000 members give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down to about 5,400 stocks -- investors seek businesses they think will outperform the market. Below, we'll take a look at some of the most popular and talked-about stocks in the CAPS universe, and examine whether you think they'll continue their winning ways.


CAPS Rating
(Out of 5)

Number of Calls

% Outperform Calls









Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS)




Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN)




Transocean (NYSE: RIG)




A tall drink of water
Will investment banking giant Goldman Sachs be part of the undoing of Greece and the eurozone, much as it has been part and parcel of the financial collapse here? Its fingerprints certainly seem to be all over the worst aspects of the biggest systemic failures, like American International Group (NYSE: AIG) -- while it lines its own pockets with fat rewards.

Greece's financial position is exceptionally precarious, particularly because Greece appears to have fudged a lot of numbers. After peeling back the layers of the accounting onion, the country was found to be up to its ears in debt. And Goldman Sachs, it appears, was the enabler, secretly arranging for Greece to take on more debt behind the scenes and earning big commissions for its efforts.

As much as Goldman Sachs deserves to be hated, it is so ingrained in the fabric of Wall Street that investors are hard-pressed to see it coming undone. CAPS member Superdrol even goes so far as to say the firm is the smartest guy in the room.

Goldman Sachs is the master of Wall Street. They have more than just fundamental valuation. They have Government valuation and connections. They also are the smartest people out there.

Warren Buffett also apparently thinks so, because Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) owns a sizeable stake, and All-Star Jeffreyw figures this kind of Oracle is a better bet than the Greek ones.

I don't actually own Golden Slacks outright, but I do have BRK-B which has a stake in GS. Never bet against Buffett!

A slick deal
There are more drilling vessels coming online than there is demand for them, which has led Transocean, one of the world's largest offshore drilling companies, to put one- quarter of its rigs in mothballs. According to oil and gas industry services company Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI), the oil rig count is 466, up more than 100% from a year ago. But Transocean is looking to Brazil, the Mediterranean, and the west coast of Africa to boost demand.

CAPS member hiztiteness believes the deepwater driller is the best in the business, and with its decision to start paying investors a dividend, the stock price makes it attractive.

Offshore drillers have sat out the recent rally. Yes, recent discoveries have caused a shift from offshore to onshore drilling, since its cheaper, but offshore is not going anywhere. Most of the undiscovered reserves are under the sea, and RIG is best-in-class. They have the most ultra-deepwater rigs, and they recently announced that they will begin paying a solid dividend later this year.

Say what?
One of the things that made me hesitate about buying into Nuance Communications was its addiction to growth by acquisition. Hardly a week goes by when it doesn't seem to buy some company, and that makes it difficult to value. Scaling up can work wonders until it doesn't. Because Nuance is not just a single entity or product, but rather an amalgamation of many different products, it's difficult to see all the moving levers.

Of course, that didn't stop Motley Fool Hidden Gems from seeing value in the voice recognition company early on, and contract wins with both Ford and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) certainly didn't hurt the stock. Now the company itself is seen as a possible buyout candidate, with Google and Microsoft being mentioned as possible suitors.

CAPS member AndreCCCP thinks continued integration with the technology that infiltrates our everyday lives will keep Nuance on track.

The ability to communicate with one's electronics, including but not limited to smart phones, Apple computers , appliances, and vehicles is the natural progression of our technology and society. 

Gather 'round
With so many good opinions about today's top companies, why not grab a pointy paper cup from the dispenser and join us at the Motley Fool CAPS water cooler? Your input can help guide other investors to stocks with bright prospects. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made -- all from a stock's CAPS page.

Sign up today for the completely free service and let us hear what you have to say about the great and almost-great companies that interest you.

Nuance is a Hidden Gems recommendation. Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft are Inside Value selections. Google is a Rule Breakers pick. Apple, Berkshire, and Ford are Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.