Based on the aggregated intelligence of 115,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, networking equipment maker Brocade Communications Systems (NASDAQ:BRCD) has earned a respected four-star ranking. While five-star stocks have been the best performers, our data has shown that four-star stocks still outshine the market by a significant margin and shouldn't be taken lightly; conversely, low-rated stocks have woefully lagged the market average.

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

Brocade facts

Headquarters (Founded)

San Jose, California (1995)

Market Cap

$2.80 billion


Communications Equipment

TTM Revenue

$1.41 billion


CEO Michael Klayko (since 2005)

CFO Richard Deranleau (since 2006)

Return on Equity (average last three years)


Major Competitors

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO),


CAPS members bullish on BRCD also bullish on



CAPS members bearish on BRCD also bearish on

Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM),

General Motors (NYSE:GM)

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over on CAPS, 434 of 466 of the members who have rated Brocade -- some 93% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include MistaMoFo and redsox189.

In June 2007, MistaMoFo reminded our community that Brocade is "the 800 lb. gorilla in the SAN/ FAN market. ... Shiny new computers on every desk may not be on every CIO's list of things to do, but efficiently using, backing up, and protecting the data their company relies on has got to be on every (good) CIO's Just Do It list."

A pitch from redsox189 one month later agreed with that bullish line of thinking, further stressing the stock's tantalizing tailwinds:

With companies like Verizon and AT&T [NYSE: T] laying massive amounts of fiber optics, data storage companies will make a killing as bandwidth speeds increase. Files changing hands in both the business and personal computing will increase in size and business will begin to digitize more and more of their operations. All this data will need to be stored and I believe Brocade is in a great position to gain considerable market share.

What do you think about Brocade Communications, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 115,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

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Foolish contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.