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 130,000-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:



CAPS Rating
(out of 5 stars)

Chart Industries  (NASDAQ:GTLS)



Patriot Coal Corporation  (NYSE:PCX)



Office Depot (NYSE:ODP)



Fifth Third Bancorp  (NASDAQ:FITB)



MGIC Investment



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.

Wall Street vs. Main Street
Wall Street has been buying these stocks hand over fist, and Main Street investors agree -- on two of 'em, at least. Fellow Fool Dave Mock gave you a glimpse at the reasons why investors are waving the flag for Patriot Coal last month. So let's "Chart" a different course today, and take a gander at...

The bull case for Chart Industries
Chart Industries is garnering rave reviews from some of the best investors on CAPS. AceBull, for example, calls Chart a "highly undervalued stock with great potential."  Of course, that does suggest the question of why? Also, "who"? And "what" exactly does Chart do? 

Fellow All-Star Cmoor provided us with an assist on these questions late last year, referring to Chart as the:

World leader in supplying equipment and systems for companies liquifying, transporting and using liquid natural gas (LNG). Intensified push for greener environment in the US will continue to increase use of LNG in closed loop auto and truck fleets, power generation and other uses. Dirt cheap P/E and PEG, and a management chastened by earlier failure to manage cash make this a good bet get through this downturn and be ready to grow rapidly when irrational fear subsides.

Now that's more like it. But just in case you need even more detail on why Fools think this one's a buy, All-Star investor TSIF has a few numbers for you: "10% margins, 21% ROE, good cash/debt ration, good cash flow, below book value, insider buying ... low P/E, 80% off 52 week high!"

While I commend TSIF for his enthusiasm, Fools know better than to act on impulse. So let's quality-check a few of these numbers before we "go buy it," OK? First, the margins are actually better than TSIF describes. More than $0.11 out of every dollar of revenue drop to the bottom line at Chart. Higher up the income statement, the firm generates operating margins of nearly 18% -- ahead of rival Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD), but behind Praxair (NYSE:PX) and Covidien (NYSE:COV).

And while Chart is no longer available below book value (the P/B is now closer to 1.33), its debt situation still looks quite reasonable, and the P/E of 7 is downright cheap relative to 15% five-year growth expectations. Best of all, the company's actually even cheaper than all that suggests.

How can that be, you ask? Because pursuant to the vagaries of GAAP accounting rules, Chart reports only a portion of its actual free cash flow as "net earnings" on its income statement. In fact, the firm generated $98 million in free cash in the last four quarters, putting the firm's enterprise value-to-free cash flow ratio at a miniscule 6.4.

Foolish takeaway
To me, that's a giveaway price, and it's the primary reason why I heartily agree with both Wall Street and our CAPS All-Stars this week: Chart Industries is a winner... but that doesn't mean that you must agree with me.

Far from it. And in fact, I'd much rather hear from a few investors out there who'd like to take the opportunity to knock some holes in this bull thesis. A story that looks as good as this one is often too good to be true -- so here's your chance to tell us what we're missing. Click on over to Motley Fool CAPS, and make your case.

Covidien is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Air Products & Chemicals is an Income Investor recommendation.

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. 427 out of more than 130,000 members. The Fool has a disclosure policy.