Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, book retailer Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) has received the dreaded one-star ranking.

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

Barnes & Noble facts

Headquarters (founded) New York (1986)
Market Cap $1.05 billion
Industry Specialty stores
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $6.8 billion

CEO William Lynch Jr. (since 2009)

CFO Joseph Lombardi (since 2003)

Trailing-12-Month Return on Equity (3.1%)
Cash/Debt $30.16 million / $626.9 million
Year-to-Date Return 23.1%
Competitors (Nasdaq: AMZN)

Borders Group (NYSE: BGP)

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

On CAPS, 40% of the 476 members who have rated Barnes & Noble believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include All-Stars hot1053 and HollywoodDan, both of whom are ranked in the top 10% of our community.

Just last month, hot1053 tapped Barnes & Noble as an obvious underperformer:

I love BKS, it's my favorite store, but I rarely see people buying. They appear to be overstaffed, carry too much inventory and have too much real estate to use. All these coupled with negative earnings, I have no choice but to be a long term short on my favorite store.

Over the next five years, Barnes & Noble's bottom line is expected to decline 4.6% per year, while vicious e-reader gorillas Amazon (25.3%), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) (20.6%), and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) (18.3%) are all expected to grow at a healthy pace.

In a reply to hot1053's underperform pitch, HollywoodDan expands on the underperform case:

Great store -- dying company. The assault from Apple, Amazon, and all tablet makers like Google and many others are too much to bear, especially when stuck to those monstrous super stores. I am not a frugal shopper and plead guilty to wanting my new books ASAP. Recently I was fired up to grab "All the Devils are Here." It was $25 or so (I think) and had it in my mind. I checked my Amazon app on my iPhone and with ONE click ordered it, with free shipping, and got it in two days for at least $10 less. ... I can't see how the Nook and college textbooks saves them.

What do you think about Barnes & Noble, 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. Amazon and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Google is an Inside Value and Rule Breakers recommendation. The Fool has written puts on Apple and owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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