Based on the aggregated intelligence of 165,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, aerospace and defense conglomerate United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

United Tech facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Hartford, Conn. (1934)

Market Cap

$61.85 billion

Industry

Aerospace and defense

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$53.46 billion

Management

CEO Louis Chenevert (since 2008)
CFO Gregory Hayes (since 2008)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)

21.6%

Cash/Debt

$5 billion / $12.06 billion

Dividend Yield

2.55%

Competitors

General Electric (NYSE: GE)
Boeing (NYSE: BA)
Honeywell International (NYSE: HON)

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

On CAPS, 95.5% of the 1,452 members who have rated United Tech believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include extremejor and mookimd.

Just last week, extremejor tapped United Tech as a diverse way to play defense: "Good strong aerospace, alternative energy and broad market appeal across many industries [within] one company, plus they pay a dividend."

Of course, with great product and geographic reach comes the challenge of going up against great gorillas. Boeing ultimately went with GE Aviation and Rolls Royce to supply engines for its 787 Dreamliner, for example, dealing a significant blow to United Tech's Pratt & Whitney division. Global conglomerate Honeywell is also a formidable foe in both the aerospace and building supply segments. Nevertheless, Fools such as mookimd think United Tech still has too many positives to ignore:

-Long history of steadily-increasing revenues and earnings, as well as dividends
-Strong levels of free cash, available for stock buybacks, strategic acquisitions, or internal reinvestment
-Large backlogs of commercial aircraft at both Airbus and Boeing, which provide good production levels into 2010-Stimulus spending in the U.S. and China will raise [United Tech's] profitability
-Strong demand for military helicopters; revenues and profits have held up well at Sikorsky ...
-Return on Equity of 20% with similar numbers in the past ...
-Healthy focus on cost reduction and productivity (ex: Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) operating system- deployed across [United Tech] worldwide for more than a decade)

What do you think about United Tech, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!  

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.