Based on the aggregated intelligence of 140,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems (NASDAQ:AONE) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at A123's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

A123 facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Watertown, Mass. (2001)

Market Cap

$2.3 billion


Electrical components and equipment

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$89.5 million


CEO David Vieau (since 2002)
CFO Michael Rubino (since 2004)

Trailing-12-Month Return on Equity


Cash / Debt

$115.0 million / $25.1 million

Price-to-Sales (AONE and S&P 500)

25.8 and 1.2


Valence Technology (NASDAQ:VLNC)

CAPS Members Bearish on AONE Also Bearish on


CAPS Members Bullish on AONE Also Bullish on

General Electric (NYSE:GE)
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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

On CAPS, 27% of the 117 members who have rated A123 believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include All-Stars jimbopicks and TMFDeej, both of whom are ranked in the top 15% of our community.

Late last month, jimbopicks noted that A123 is "consistently unprofitable in an industry with many major players that does not currently have significant business potential." Our All-Star concludes: "Although the long term prospects will be strong for the firm if they can partner with a major automotive company, the short term will be a struggle."

In a pitch from two weeks ago, TMFDeej also advised Fools not to get charged up:

A123 loses money on every unit that they sell. They have a short client list, that's going to get even shorter in the near future.

This is a win big / lose big stock. If, and this is a tremendous if, the company is successful in developing an excellent battery for use in plug-in electric vehicles or a storage device for solar / wind power it has the potential to be a big winner. The government certainly wants them to be successful, it's pouring tons of money into the company.

I am betting however that the stiff competition from larger, better funded, established foreign competition in the battery area will develop better products than this U.S. start-up.

What do you think about A123, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. The CAPS community is waiting to hear your opinions. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. ABB is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick, and Microsoft is a choice of Inside Value. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.