Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, newspaper publisher The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

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

New York Times facts

Headquarters (founded)

New York (1896)

Market Cap

$1.5 billion



Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$2.41 billion


Chairman/Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

CEO Janet Robinson

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$128.64 million / $774.45 million


Gannett (NYSE: GCI)

News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS)

Washington Post (NYSE: WPO)

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

On CAPS, 60.5% of the 415 members who have rated New York Times believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include cashsage and All-Star DarthMaul09, who is ranked in the top 2% of our community.

Earlier this month, cashsage tapped New York Times as a particularly risky pick: "[New York Times] has an illiquid balance sheet and a too high valuation compared to its sales potential."

Currently, The New York Times even trades at a clear price-to-book (2.3) premium to rivals Gannett (1.7), News Corp. (1.7), and Washington Post (1.3), as well as other publishing plays such as E.W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP) (1.0) and Pearson (NYSE: PSO) (1.9).

CAPS All-Star DarthMaul09 expanded on the underperform case last October:

The company's finances have improved when compared to 2009, but going forward it may find it harder to sell advertising and content, especially given the abundance of relative free news and information that is available online. As a national newspaper I believe that the [Wall Street Journal] is more interesting because it doesn't just focus on New York, which is likely to become less important in the years to come. ... 2011 may be a tough year for many companies, including many financial firms on the east coast. The Times will probably track these weaker financial stocks.

What do you think about New York Times, 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. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.