Based on the aggregated intelligence of 145,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, cell phone tower operator Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

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

Crown Castle facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Houston (1994)

Market Cap

$10.2 billion


Wireless telecom services

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$1.7 billion


CEO W. Benjamin Moreland (since 2008)
CFO Jay Brown (since 2008)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)


1-Year Return


Cash / Debt

$766.1 million / $6.9 billion


American Tower (NYSE:AMT)
SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC)

CAPS Members Bearish on CCI Also Bearish on


CAPS Members Bullish on CCI Also Bullish on

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)

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

On CAPS, 15% of the 135 members who have rated Crown Castle believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include EEE1 and All-Star jed71, who is ranked in the top 15% of our community.

Last month, EEE1 showed skepticism over the stock's surprising price strength:

The last time that I checked, this company was still losing a lot of money, had a sky-high, forward PE ratio of 266, a huge debt load of $6.54 B, and net tangible assets of negative $1.5 B. Miraculously, the stock has increased over 3-fold since November, 2008. Sooner or later, it has to come back down to earth and reality.

In a pitch from three weeks later, jed71 elaborates. Here's an excerpt:

It is sitting close to a 52 week high and poised for a large correction. ... With long term debt of $6BB, their income statement just can't handle the heavy interest expense every month. I just can't see how they can get themselves to a decent level of profitability without whittling this down in a major way. And that usually means a large share dilution or some other negative steps that impact shareholders. ... This looks like a decent short opportunity given the lack of fundamentals to support the last year's price move. With a beta of close to 2, though, you might be in for a wild ride.

What do you think about Crown Castle, 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. American Tower and Blue Nile are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. is a selection of Stock Advisor. Microsoft is a choice of Inside Value, and Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on it. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.