Based on the aggregated intelligence of 120,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NYSE:NVS) has earned a coveted five-star ranking. 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 Novartis' business, and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Novartis facts

Headquarters (founded)

Basel, Switzerland (1895)

Market Cap

$101.2 billion

Industry

Drug manufacturers

TTM Revenue

$42.4 billion

Management

CEO Dr. Daniel Vasella (since 1999)

CFO Dr. Raymund Breu (since 1996)

Return on Equity (average last three years)

16.6%

Dividend Yield

3.3%

Competitors

Merck (NYSE:MRK),

Johnson & Johnson

CAPS members bullish on NVS also bullish on

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE),

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

CAPS members bearish on NVS also bearish on

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM),

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL)

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

Over on CAPS, fully 971 of the 1,005 who have rated Novartis -- some 97% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These Foolish bulls include CAPS All-Star mulledover and ebarrett4.

Last month, mulledover described Novartis in simple terms: "A solid boring company with intelligent management. Owns a big chunk of Roche who will [possibly] shortly own all of [Genentech (NYSE:DNA)]. Big player in generics, likely will be a big one in biosimilars."

In a more recent pitch from two weeks ago, ebarrett4 agrees, tapping the stock as a smart way to recession-proof your portfolio:

Defensive LT play in tumultuous times. Has weathered the storm to date very nicely. Solid margins and revenue growth over the years and well into the current economic crisis. Plus a decent dividend. Can't ask for much more nowadays.

What do you think about Novartis, 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. Pfizer and Dell are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Pfizer is also a selection of Income Investor, as are JPMorgan Chase and Johnson & Johnson. The Fool owns shares of Pfizer. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.