Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, electronics giant Sony (NYSE: SNE) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

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

Sony facts

Headquarters (founded) Tokyo (1946)
Market Cap $36.3 billion
Industry Consumer electronics
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $89.47 billion

Chairman/CEO Howard Stringer

CFO Masaru Kato

Return on Equity (average past 3 years) 0.9%
Cash/Debt $17.38 billion / $12.62 billion

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL)

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)

Koninklijke Philips (NYSE: PHG)

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

On CAPS, 28% of the 1,555 members who have rated Sony believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include All-Star TMFConan, who is ranked in the top 5% of our community, and acegdl007.

Late last year, TMFConan tapped the stock as a particularly weak pick: "Sony is getting less and less impressive. Their electronic offerings are confusing yet expensive (Bloggie?) and I believe their market-share of home entertainment will be eroded by less expensive competitors in an already over-served area."

In fact, Sony sports a rather anemic three-year average operating margin of 1.7%. That's lower than consumer electronic foes such as Apple (25.9%), Microsoft (38.7%), and Philips (4.6%).

CAPS member acegdl007 elaborates on the bear case:

Sony has been a pretty low growth stock over the past couple of years. With heavy competition in the electronics sector, growth has been tough for Sony. With a low dividend yield, the stock does not look too attractive as a value holding. In the past, Sony was a mark of quality with people willing to pay good money fir their electronics. They are failing to effectively innovate to beat the competition (ie. PS3 Move vs. Xbox Kinect) ... we'll see how the 3D TV idea pans out.

What do you think about Sony, 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, and the Fool has written puts on it. Microsoft is a choice of Inside Value, and Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on it. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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