Based on the aggregated intelligence of 145,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, natural gas producer Crosstex Energy, L.P. (NASDAQ:XTEX) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

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

Crosstex facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Dallas (1992)

Market Cap

$495.0 million


Oil and gas refining and marketing

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$3.3 billion


Chairman/CEO Barry Davis
CFO William Davis

Trailing-12-Month Return on Equity


Cash / Debt

$0.9 million / $1.1 billion

6-Month Return


Highly Rated Natural Gas Alternatives

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC)
Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN)

CAPS Members Bearish on XTEX Also Bearish on


CAPS Members Bullish on XTEX Also Bullish on

General Electric (NYSE:GE)
Citigroup (NYSE:C)

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

On CAPS, 12% of the 118 All-Star members who have rated Crosstex believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include UltraLong and mrindependent, both of whom are ranked in the top 1% of our community.

Just three days ago, UltraLong warned that the company was on fragile financial footing:

I really don't care how popular natural gas is right now because there aren't enough sticks in the world to shake at Crosstex's massive pile of debt to even put a dent in it. 1.1 billion dollars in debt and a monstrous wave of quarterly losses that would make Captain Ahab proud. Crosstex grossly mismanaged their balance sheet when times were good and got caught with their hand in the cookie jar two years ago. I consider them extremely lucky to have even survived and would consider a pullback all but a certainty from these levels.

In a pitch from one day later, mrindependent echoed that balance sheet bearishness:

I agree that Crosstex Energy has too much debt. The stock price soared in recent months after the company announced a significant asset sale that enabled it to pay down $259 million. Even after the asset sale, the company has approximately $1060 million of remaining debt and its sustainable debt level is only $200 million or so. Since the company consistently generates negative cash flow, I do not believe that Crosstex will survive. If the company somehow manages to continue as a going concern, I do not expect much "free cash flow" for shareholders.

What do you think about Crosstex, 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. Chesapeake is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick, and the Fool owns shares of it. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.