Although there will always be differences of opinion, these are some of the CAPS community's most favored companies. So why does the professional analyst community look down on them?

Below we'll look closer at a handful of companies that Wall Street is fawning over but CAPS members have bestowed the lowest one- and two-star rating upon, meaning you think there's little chance they'll outperform the market.

So who's got it right? The professional class of analysts, sitting in their paneled offices smoking stogies, or a motley crew of community investors pooling their best thoughts for others to share. We've got an idea on who we think will come out ahead, how about you?


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Wall Street Bullish Sentiment

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS)



Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI)



United Continental (NYSE: UAL)



Source: Motley Fool CAPS.

Now as much as we love our CAPS community, don't sell these companies short just because they've garnered the lowest opinions. And don't buy 'em just because Wall Street says to either. Investing requires closer diligence on your part, so use these ratings as a launching pad for your own research.

A ray of hope
Wall Street is hoping to win big with gambling stocks. They've got extremely bullish opinions on Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts, and Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL). Even Isle of Capri Casinos has 80% of the analysts rating it expecting it to outperform the market.

But maybe there's something a little more at play here. Look closely, and you'll see that those casinos with the highest exposure to the Chinese gaming mecca of Macau garner the highest ratings. MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), for example, which is more heavily invested in Las Vegas, only gains the support of two thirds of the analysts who rate it. But with the comeback in gaming revenues the island oasis enjoyed last year, there may be something to it.

Yet maybe going all in on Sands is not the best bet. Last month it failed to convince the Macau government to approve its development plans on the Cotai strip and all casinos have needed to find alternative sources of revenue to supplement their gaming winnings. With the Macau government poised to tighten gambling control again, the lucrative lynchpin to growth may be about to break.

Now, investors are still willing to bet Lady Luck will smile on Las Vegas Sands. Of the nearly 2,000 CAPS members rating the gambling house, 82% still see a jackpot in its future. But its lowly two-star rating suggests they also think the odds might be better elsewhere.

Roll the dice on the Las Vegas Sands CAPS page and let us know whether the casino operator is about to crap out.

Sirius-ly, folks
A resurgent Ford (NYSE: F), its biggest marquee name Howard Stern signing on again, and some niche programming deals have helped Sirius XM Radio earn its title as a winning investment last year. Even though the stock has given up some of its recent gains, Sirius shares still trade at levels it hasn't seen since 2008. Analysts are forecasting near-100% growth in earnings this year and long-term growth of 30%. It's a pretty impressive set of accomplishments for a stock that was seen as near-bankrupt only two years ago.

The bears, though, see its debt load as excessive, and the carmakers aren't expected to maintain their torrid growth rates. CAPS member mikeh30315 thinks its creditors will end up owning the satellite radio station while All-Star EnigmaDude thinks its valuation has gotten ahead of itself despite his actually liking what he hears on Sirius.

Still, 81% of the more than 4,928 CAPS members who rated Sirius think you'll be able to keep tuning in, though as with Las Vegas Sands, its ratings mean they think you'll get less static by channeling your investment dollars elsewhere.

Add Sirius to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to have all the news and analysis about the utility aggregated for you in one place.

Construct an argument for growth
By nickel-and-diming passengers for any and all amenities, Delta Air Lines recently scored its highest quarterly profit in a decade in the second quarter, and US Airways (NYSE: LCC) generated its largest-ever third quarter profit recently. United Continental is another airline that has shaken loose the coins from its passengers' pockets, even though the December blizzard will hurt fourth-quarter profit by $10 million.

American Airlines parent AMR is trying to go one better, by forcing online travel agent Orbitz Worldwide to use its in-house reservation system to book fares. That will save AMR on fees it has to pay to online travel agents, but surprising solidarity by Expedia and the owners of Travelocity may end up grounding American's plans.

So far United, Delta, and the other airlines have kept mum on whether they support AMR. Maybe they're waiting to see how its battle turns out before they join the fray, but if it breaks out into an all-out war, the industry could give up the ground it's made.

Investors aren't willing to board this trip, as less than half of the CAPS members rating United think it can beat the market. All-Stars like joblock see rising oil prices as dooming the business, while Jeffreyw thinks the merger between United and Continental was horrendous:

Worst decision Continental could have made. It's a poorly run airline, they lose money more often than they make money.

Let us know on the United Continental CAPS page whether this investment will ever take wing.

What's wrong with that?
It pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. 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 tell us which side of the street will be the ultimate winner.

Ford Motor is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Melco Crown Entertainment is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 

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