Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Canadian gold explorer NovaGold Resources (NYSE: NG) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

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

NovaGold facts

Headquarters (Founded) Vancouver, Canada (1984)
Market Cap $3.3 billion
Industry Gold
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $700.3 thousand
Management CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse (since May 1999)
Interim CFO Elaine Sanders (since April 2010)
Return on Equity (Average Past 3 Years) (40.5%)
Cash/Debt $169.76 million / $125.11 million
3-Month Return 122%

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

On CAPS, 12% of the 782 members who have rated NovaGold believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include tenmiles and UltraLong, both of whom are ranked in the top 0.01% of our community.

Just last week, tenmiles touched on the stock's seemingly unsustainable recent price run: "Just a technical play at $14.37 -- looks a bit overextended in the near term."

While NovaGold's 50/50 partnerships with the likes of Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) (at Donlin Creek) and Teck Resources (NYSE: TCK) (at Galore Creek) make it possible takeover target, many in our community just can't get over its historical lack of profitability. For example, NovaGold's three-year average return on equity (-40.5%) is substantially lower than that of more established miners like Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) (6.1%), Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM) (8.4%), and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG) (7.1%).

CAPS All-Star UltraLong elaborates:

I want a 3.4 billion dollar market cap for sitting on my hands year in and year out and claiming I'm sitting on a gold mine. Is NovaGold ever going to produce anything? ... How many more years are they going to have investors suffer through a yearly loss due to speculation? NovaGold isn't worth squat until they turn a profit for investors, plain and simple. Sure the profits are there, but they continue to hold off on digging them up. I'm definitely betting against this rally, it's just absurd.

What do you think about NovaGold, 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. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.