Based on the aggregated intelligence of 115,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, business development company (BDC) American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS) 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 American Capital's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

American Capital facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Bethesda, Md. (1986)

Market Cap

$4.98 Billion

Industry

Financial Services

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$1.21 Billion

Management

CEO Malon Wilkus (Since 1986)

CFO John Erickson (Since 1998)

Book Value Per Share

$27.00

Competitors

Allied Capital (NYSE:ALD)

Fortress Investment Group (NYSE:FIG)

CAPS Members Bullish on ACAS Also Bullish on:

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

CAPS Members Bearish on ACAS Also Bearish on:

Citigroup (NYSE:C)

Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM)

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

Over on CAPS, fully 456 of 475 of the All-Star members who have rated American Capital -- some 96% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These All-Star bulls include mhaag3 and jbungard4, both of whom are ranked in the top 15% of our community.

Less than three weeks ago, mhaag3 wrote that American Capital "has unfairly suffered from the general credit crunch and will recover faster providing they maintain their high [dividend] payments."

An earlier pitch from jbungard4 in March shares that bullish sentiment, running down the stock's general characteristics:

Excellent performing Business Development Company. High yield as BDCs are required to distribute a large portion of their profits as dividends. Excellent holding in a tax-sheltered account such as an IRA, 401(k), etc. Well-defined historical dividend ranges indicate this is a good time to purchase shares of [American Capital]. Domestic and European exposure. International component has the potential for excellent forward growth. American Capital's diverse portfolio reduces risk in a manner similar to mutual or exchange-traded funds.

What do you think about American Capital, 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 get started now!

American Capital and Bank of America are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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