There's no denying that Mad Money host Jim Cramer is entertaining, popular, and passionate. On many occasions, he's even right. So he's smart, funny, and the closest thing to a stock market rock star -- but is he smarter than you?

Cramming for Cramer
The Fool's free investing community, Motley Fool CAPS, aggregates the opinions of more than 125,000 members to assign ratings for each stock's likelihood of outperforming or underperforming the market.

Below, we look at some top stocks that Cramer picked and panned during last week's "lightning rounds," and compare them to how the CAPS community sees their future.

Stock

Lightning Round
Show Date

Cramer's Rating 

CAPS Rating
(Out of 5)

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL)

Wednesday

Bearish

*

United States Steel (NYSE:X)

Wednesday

Bullish

****

Nucor (NYSE:NUE)

Wednesday

Bearish

*****

Annaly Capital Management (NYSE:NLY)

Thursday

Bearish

**

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners

Thursday

Bullish

****

Becton, Dickinson

Thursday

Bullish

*****

Baxter International

Thursday

Bullish

****

Merck (NYSE:MRK)

Friday

Bullish

****

Barclays (NYSE:BCS)

Friday

Bearish

***

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)

Friday

Bearish

**

Cramer says
A company in dire straits can't be criticized for trying to shake things up to break out of a slump. Starbucks is playing its hand right now, but Cramer thinks it's too early to know whether Howard Schultz's return to the company is the game-changer the coffee purveyor needs. Even some of his more dramatic measures -- such as introducing instant coffee -- are too new to make a call on. Says Cramer:

OK, it does look like it is bottoming ... they just started instant coffee. ... But ... not enough time has [passed] since Howard Schultz came in. ... McDonalds took 18 months before you saw any visible sign of a turn. ... Let's wait before we pull the trigger on Starbucks.

CAPS says
Implementing a new game plan is one way to break the mold, but investors are worried that their beloved Starbucks is also running the risk of ruining its reputation. Instant coffee sounds like a bad idea to some people, and certainly, value meals and a host of other silly ideas don't make the company look edgy, but rather on the edge of the precipice. What's next? Offering Howard Schultz action figures?

Although Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's have become more direct competitors in the current economic climate, CAPS member lpsales doesn't think Starbucks' decision to cheap out on its brand will resonate with its customer base: "They pride themselves on gourmet beverages and are competing directly now with McDonald's. Does not compute."

CAPS member supernaut2009 agrees that these may be branding miscues but has difficulty seeing Starbucks as no longer being relevant.

Instant coffee? Value meals? I agree with others that say Sbux needs to get back to basics: providing an outstanding cup of coffee along with a pleasant, sociable atmosphere. Although I do not see Sbux as the growth stock it once was, I just cannot see this company dissolving into irrelevancy. Is the American addiction to gourmet coffees over? I don't think so. Perhaps just on hiatus thanks to the recession. I understand the competition from MCD and other low-cost operators is a threat, but Sbux initiated America into the world of lattes and cappuccinos, and the environment of Sbux cannot be recreated in these places. I would not bet on this stock anywhere near short term, but once we pull out of this funk and have some extra change (well ... $3.50) in our pockets, I think this stock will trend upwards once again.

Your say
CAPS members may stand with Jim Cramer or on opposite sides of the field, but the investor-intelligence community is more than what some All-Stars think, even if they are TV personalities. But what do you think? Is Cramer right, or is he off his rocker? Why not head off right now to CAPS and sound off with your thoughts on whether Starbucks is genuinely rebranding itself or busting the brand that it has.

Motley Fool CAPS is a great place to start your own research on these stocks. 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. Best of all, it's free!

Annaly Capital Management is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Starbucks is both a Motley Fool Inside Value and  Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.