Based on the aggregated intelligence of 130,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, women's apparel retailer Talbots (NYSE:TLB) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

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

Talbots facts

Headquarters (founded)

Hingham, Mass. (1947)

Market Cap

$129.77 million


Apparel Stores

TTM Revenue

$1.5 billion


CEO Trudy Sullivan (since 2007)

COO Michael Scarpa (since 2008)

Return on Capital (average, last five years and TTM)

5.6% and (8.5%)


Macy's (NYSE:M)

Chico's FAS (NYSE:CHS)

CAPS members bearish on TLB also bearish on

General Motors (NYSE:GM) (NASDAQ:OSTK)

CAPS members bullish on TLB also bullish on


General Electric (NYSE:GE)

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

Over on CAPS, some 65% of the 278 members who have rated Talbots believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include hamburglar89 and All-Star TSIF, who is ranked in the top 1% of our community.

Two weeks ago, hamburglar89 touched on Talbots' margin-damaging discounting:

Talbot's sends coupons to my house all the time. They can't sell their high-priced clothing in this bloated market and are trying everything they can to stay alive. Women are choosing to spend less money on clothes because of the recession.

In a pitch from three days ago, TSIF also taps Talbots as a dangerously tricky turnaround:

Talbots took a ride on the "fear of missing out" and the speculator express the past week and is starting back down. ... Even at $2 per share insiders are selling and management continues to warn of increased losses. ... Both [Saks] and Talbots are riding on the major investors, have little cash, and despite massive store closing will be unlikely to turn the corner in time. Store closing and consolidations take time and money. Talbots may be able to borrow and hold the line if the consumer returns, but even if they do, profitability in any sense of the word is far out in their future.

What do you think about Talbots, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 130,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.