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

Hess facts

Headquarters (founded)

New York City, New York (1920)

Market Cap

$14.63 billion

Industry

Integrated Oil & Gas

TTM Revenue

$43.24 billion

Management

CEO John Hess (since 1995)

John Rielly (since 2004)

Return on Equity (average last three years)

25.7%

Competitors

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC),

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO)

CAPS members bullish on HES also bullish on

Transocean (NYSE:RIG),

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX)

CAPS members bearish on HES also bearish on

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP),

Chevron (NYSE:CVX)

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

Over on CAPS, fully 617 of the 647 members who have rated Hess -- some 95% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These Foolish bulls include CLOSDUVAL and brophool.

Earlier this month, CLOSDUVAL got straight to the bullish points: "Great oil company. Top management. American! Another huge, profitable company pumelled by traders' fears."

In a pitch just two weeks later, brophool shared that contrarian spirit, writing:

An American energy company that has a large exploration arm which has entered markets all over the globe and is well positioned to provide a good chunck of the worlds oil/gas and electricity needs going forward. ... Hess has the benefit of being significantly smaller and more nimble than its larger competitors and has not hesitated to hire many top talent SVP/VP/Directors over the past several years in an effort to ensure management continues to make all the right moves. I do not know how negative world economic output will go or for how long it will stay there, but if there is any economic growth Hess will do very well.

What do you think about Hess, 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. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.