At The Motley Fool, we poke plenty of fun at Wall Street analysts and their endless cycles 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'll track the long-term performance of Wall Street's best and brightest -- and its worst and sorriest, too.

And speaking of the best ...
As they returned to the workaday world this morning, investors were greeted with a somber note from BMO Capital Markets on the subject of natural-gas titan Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK). Formerly bullish on the stock, BMO has decided to temper its enthusiasm based largely on where it sees natural-gas prices heading in the near future. The analyst sees a "deteriorating commodity backdrop" and has decided to downgrade Chesapeake from "outperform" to "market perform" in response.

Typical Wall Street shortsightedness, you say? The firm is taking the recent drop in gas prices and projecting it too far into the future? Perhaps. But before we jump to conclusions about BMO's flightiness, let's consider the firm's record.

Let's go to the tape
According to Motley Fool CAPS, BMO is one of "Wall Street's Best" stock pickers, ranked 11th among professional analysts. The firm scores a strong 94.98 CAPS rating, and has a record for accuracy in excess of 54%.

Reviewing a few of its winning picks, we find:

Company

BMO Said:

CAPS Said:

BMO's Pick Beat S&P by:

Frontier Oil (NYSE:FTO)

Outperform

*****

37 points

Valero (NYSE:VLO)

Outperform

*****

25 points

Tesoro (NYSE:TSO)

Outperform

****

22 points

Meanwhile, the laggards include:

BMO Said:

CAPS Said:

BMO's Pick Lagged S&P by:

Western Refining
(NYSE:WNR)

Outperform

****

40 points

Pioneer Drilling
(AMEX:PDC)

Outperform

****

14 points

Apache (NYSE:APA)

Outperform

*****

5 points

As you see, BMO has a mixed record on energy stocks. With the sole exception of its contrarian call against Western Refining, the firm seems to have a good handle on the refiners. But when it comes to rating the companies that suck the oil and gas out of the ground upstream, BMO's not doing so hot.

Chesapeake does belong to that class of companies, of course, giving you one good reason to ignore BMO's advice today. Need more? How about the fact that Chesapeake currently trades for just 9 times trailing earnings -- and on average, analysts expect the firm to grow its profits in excess of 25% per year over the next five years. Also, the company has earned a five-star rating in our CAPS community database with 515 All-Star raters giving it a thumbs-up.

And here's the kicker: Philip Durell at Motley Fool Inside Value says Chesapeake is as much as 50% undervalued. Want to know why Philip disagrees with BMO? Finding out is as easy as signing up for a trial to the service -- and it's free.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares in any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked No. 350 out of more than 60,000 rated players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.