Based on the aggregated intelligence of 115,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, heavy-equipment maker Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW) has earned a coveted five-star ranking, the highest. 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 Manitowoc's business, and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Manitowocfacts

Headquarters (Founded)

Manitowoc, Wis. (1853)

Market Cap

$3.08 billion

Industry

Farm and Construction Machinery

TTM Revenue

$4.51 billion

Management

CEO Glen Tellock (since 2007)

CFO Carl Laurino (since 2004)

Return on Equity (average last three years)

27%

Major Competitors

Terex (NYSE:TEX),

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)

CAPS members bullish on MTW also bullish on

Transocean (NYSE:RIG)

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX)

CAPS members bearish on MTW also bearish on

Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK)

Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM)

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

Over on CAPS, all but two of the 303 All-Star members who have rated Manitowoc believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These All-Star bulls include VTEngineer2001 and SBaus, both of whom are ranked in the top 10% of our community.

In February 2008, VTEngineer2001 highlighted some of the stock's strong points:

Great international play here. [Manitowoc] builds cranes/etc for the U.S. and other contries. With infrastructure growth thru the roof internationally, [Manitowoc] has a booking backlog for years. Great growth potential, low debt, and a dividend (however small).

A more recent pitch from SBaus last month follows that bullish line of thinking, focusing on Manitowoc's rather cheapish valuation:

[Manitowoc] is currently trading below $24. ...

Now if you look at the current P/E of [Manitowoc], it is below the 5 year low P/E and substantially below the low for the industry. If [Manitowoc's] P/E was simply the same as the industries low, the price would be in the low 40s, a 70 percent gain from where it is today. If [Manitowoc's] P/E equaled the industry average, the stock price would be in the low 50s.

So [Manitowoc's] P/E is substantially less than the industry average. [Manitowoc's] EPS growth rate is better than the industry average. Will they have debt with the new aquisition, yes they will. Is that going to be a problem, hard for me to say but with the other numbers, it sure looks to me like [Manitowoc] is unfairly under valued.

What do you think about Manitowoc, 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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Foolish contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.