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1-Star Stocks Poised to Plunge: SBA Communications?

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 145,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, communications infrastructure operator SBA Communications (Nasdaq: SBAC  ) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at SBA's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

SBA facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Boca Raton, Fla. (1989)

Market Cap

$4 billion


Wireless telecom services

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$545 million


CEO Jeffrey Stoops (since 2002)
CFO Brendan Cavanagh (since 2008)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)



$292 million / $2.5 billion

1-Year Return



American Tower (NYSE: AMT  )
Crown Castle International (NYSE: CCI  )

CAPS Members Bearish on SBAC Also Bearish on

InterOil (NYSE: IOC  )

CAPS Members Bullish on SBAC Also Bullish on

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  )
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  )
General Electric (NYSE: GE  )

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 46% of the 54 All-Star members who have rated SBA believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include Momentum21 and TSIF, both of whom are ranked in the top 10% of our community.

Late last month, Momentum21 briefly summed up the SBA underperform case: "looking at the numbers they seem a little stretched even though I do like telecom going forward."

In a pitch from last week, TSIF elaborates on that bearishness. Here's an excerpt:

SBA Communications is a double from the March lows and breaking a new five year high despite the fact that it has only had one positive quarter Dec '08 in the last three years, ($2 Million), compared to losses averaging $30 Million plus a quarter. Rising debt to build out their wireless communication towers infrastructure does not appear to be producing in-kind revenue. The wireless communication tower business appears on the surface to have money making potential as leases continue earning revenue, (in theory) far beyond the debt service lifecycle. This is a company where strong cash flow can outweigh minimized revenue and margins, but not to the extent that SBA is being "rewarded" by the market. ... Again, Fundamental Fools have been hammered on this one, but I think a leg of the tower will eventually come down.

What do you think about SBA, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to protect your portfolio from any undue risk. Staying away from dangerous stocks is crucial to securing your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to flag them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!  

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, and both American Tower and Google are recommendations of Rule Breakers. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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