Based on the aggregated intelligence of 115,000 investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, petroleum and natural gas player Penn West Energy Trust (NYSE:PWE) has earned a coveted five-star ranking. Our data has shown that five-star stocks outperform the market by a significant margin; conversely, one-star stocks have woefully lagged the market average.

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

Penn West Energy facts

Headquarters

Calgary, Canada (1979)

Market Cap

$8.55 billion

Industry

Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

TTM Revenue

$3.08 billion

Management

CEO William Andrew (since 2005)

CFO Todd Takeyasu (since 2006)

Competitors

EnCana (NYSE:ECA)

Petro-Canada (NYSE:PCZ)

CAPS members bullish on PWE also bullish on

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

CAPS members bearish on PWE also bearish on

Pengrowth Energy Trust (NYSE:PGH)

Enerplus Resources Fund (NYSE:ERF)

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over on CAPS, 96% of the 222 All-Star members who have rated Penn West Energy believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These All-Star bulls include bsharvy and TMFDeej, both of whom are ranked in the top 1% of our community.

Last month, bsharvy wrote that Penn West "has been beaten down partly because it's complicated: the tax situation is complicated, and the constant acquisitions funded in shares and/or cash also complicate things. ... The simplifying analysis: good cash flow, good dividend."

An earlier pitch from TMFDeej shares that bullish feeling, explaining (in great detail) what this special stock is all about:

Penn West Energy Trust is the largest CANROY aka Canadian Royal Trust. CANROYs are similar to the MLPs that are available here in the U.S. in that they pay huge dividends in exchange for tax benefits from the government. The difference is that the Canadian government pulled the rug out from underneath CANROYs during the "Halloween Massacre" and decided to start taxing them despite campaign promises that they wouldn't. That's why this is a much hated sector and many investors are staying away from it. The new taxes don't kick in until 2011.... So by buying [Penn West] today, one basically will be able to collect a dividend ... (paid monthly!) for the next four years....

Huge oil and gas assets in a country that borders the U.S. huge sustainable dividend for the next four years hated sector that provides a discount versus other similar companies.

What do you think about Penn West Energy, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 115,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

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Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Chesapeake Energy is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.