Based on the aggregated intelligence of 160,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, fiber cement building products manufacturer James Hardie Industries (NYSE: JHX) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

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

James Hardie facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Amsterdam, the Netherlands (1888)

Market Cap

$2.9 billion


Construction materials

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$1.1 billion


CEO Louis Gries (since 2005)
CFO Russell Chenu (since 2005)

Trailing-12-Month Return on Assets


1-Year Return



$51.2 million / $192.4 million


Vulcan Materials (NYSE: VMC)
Masco (NYSE: MAS)
Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM)

Highly Rated Building Material Alternatives

Cemex (NYSE: CX)
Fastenal (Nasdaq: FAST)

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

On CAPS, 23% of the 44 members who have rated James Hardie believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include robertshrestha and All-Star mrindependent, who is ranked in the top 1% of our community.

Late last week, robertshrestha showed skepticism over the stock's soaring price: "Massive run-up over the last year for seemingly no good reason. Ugly looking balance sheet. Levered to still shaky housing market. What's not to like?!"

In a pitch from three days earlier, mrindependent shares that bearish sentiment:

Although this company lost $204 million last year, the stock is priced as if its expected "turnaround" is a certainty. ... I see a company that frequently disappoints and persistently destroys shareholder value. The following data illustrates my point: 03/2000 book value per share- $3.01; 03/2009 book value per share- negative $1.26. Shareholders ought to be nervous because the company has utilized all of its debt capacity and it has an unfunded asbestos liability. ... The current share price of $32.19 seems unsustainable.

What do you think about James Hardie, 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. USG and Vulcan are Motley Fool Inside Value picks, Masco is an Income Investor choice, and Cemex is a Stock Advisor selection. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.