Based on the aggregated intelligence of 120,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, defense contractor Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) 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 Raytheon's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Raytheon facts

Headquarters (founded)

Waltham, Massachusetts (1922)

Market Cap

$21.16 billion

Industry

Aerospace & Defense

TTM Revenue

$23.09 billion

Management

CEO William Swanson (since 2003)

CFO David Wajsgras (since 2006)

Return on Equity (average last three years)

12.17%

Dividend Yield

2.3%

Competitors

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)

Boeing (NYSE:BA)

CAPS members bullish on RTN also bullish on

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

CAPS members bearish on RTN also bearish on

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD)

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

Over on CAPS, fully 196 of the 207 All-Star members who have rated Raytheon -- some 96% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include ETMatyahoo and ScottTheGeek.

In September, ETMatyahoo had this to say of the stock:

Cutting edge U.S. Naval (oh, and NASA & Air Force) contractor. Whatever your views on all the radio, radar, mechanical devices that clutter the battlefield, they are not going away any time soon. ... Decent dividend yield in the meantime.

An earlier pitch from ScottTheGeek in May agrees, elaborating on the many long-term trends working in Raytheon's favor:

Another defense stock. With some wars winding down, some continuing along, and others probably soon to start, money will keep flowing to the defense contractors. The roles played by technology, ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), and communications in today's military operations are increasing exponentially in importance. Raytheon will continue to deliver new capabilities to the military for the foreseeable future, and will profit from it.

What do you think about Raytheon, 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. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.