Based on the aggregated intelligence of 120,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, food producer Hormel (NYSE:HRL) has earned a respected four-star ranking. While five-star stocks have been the best performers, our data has shown that four-star stocks still outshine the market by a significant margin and shouldn't be taken lightly; conversely, low-rated stocks have woefully lagged the market average.

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

Hormel facts

Headquarters (founded)

Austin, Minnesota (1995)

Market Cap

$3.65 billion

Industry

Packaged Foods & Meats

TTM Revenue

$6.75 billion

Management

CEO Jeffrey Ettinger (since 2006)
CFO Jody Feragen (since 2007)

Return on Equity (average last three years)

16%

Dividend Yield

2.8%

Competitors

Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT),
Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE)

CAPS members bullish on HRL also bullish on

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT),
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

CAPS members bearish on HRL also bearish on

Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN),
Ford Motor (NYSE:F)

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

Over on CAPS, fully 169 of the 178 members who have rated Hormel -- some 95% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These Foolish bulls include southsideandy and saunafool.

Last month, southsideandy noted that the company "might be affected negatively by the frugality of the marketplace, but if you look at the variety of brands and products Hormel owns, it appears well-positioned, short- and long-term, to weather most any storm."

In a pitch from last week, saunafool shares that sentiment, tapping the stock as a tasty way to recession-proof your portfolio:

Food producers will survive the downturn, no matter how bad it gets. People have to eat. Plus, the fall in energy prices will work its way into feed and hog prices, boosting profits for Hormel. Where they took a hit when oil prices went up, they get it back when prices go down.

What do you think about Hormel, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 120,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Kraft and Johnson & Johnson are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Wal-Mart is a selection of Inside Value. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.