Based on the aggregated intelligence of 165,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, regional shopping mall REIT Macerich (NYSE: MAC) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

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

Macerich facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Santa Monica, Calif. (1965)

Market Cap

$5.5 billion


Retail REIT

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$848.5 million


CEO Arthur Coppola (since 1993)

CFO Thomas O'Hern (since 1994)

Return on Capital (Average, Past 3 Years)


Compound Annual Revenue and Net Income Growth (Over Past 3 Years)

(2.0%) and (25.7%)

Cash / Debt

$96.2 million / $4.6 billion

Year-to-Date Return



General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP)

Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG)

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

On CAPS, 62% of the 293 members who have rated Macerich believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include All-Stars Beorn10 and kurtdabear, both of whom are ranked in the top 10% of our community.

Just a couple of months ago, Beorn10 seemed skeptical of the stock's soaring price:

Its 2006 all over again. Speculators are back and really believe that a recovery is here. This MAC is not the [Apple] computer, it is a company that needs a real recovery in retail business, commercial real estate and banking to remain solvent. This has to happen quickly or this stock will collapse.

Over the past year, Macerich has been one of the hottest stocks in a whole sector of hot stocks. Retail REIT market share leaders Simon Property and General Growth sport higher operating margins and revenue growth than Macerich, but Macerich's small size and severely stressed balance sheet have given its shares more "bang" in this rallying market. 

Of course, as CAPS member kurtdabear mentions, those added risks make Macerich that much more vulnerable if the economy does end up doin' a double dip:

Back in the 70's, I saw REIT's go from $50 to 50 cents a share. Macerich looks like a good candidate for that. While they've made some progress in the past year at trying to get out of the quicksand, they're just too highly leveraged and fighting too strong of headwinds to survive the coming implosion in commercial Real Estate.

What do you think about Macerich, 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. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.