Based on the aggregated intelligence of 135,000-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.

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, Mass. (1922)

Market Cap

$17.6 billion


Aerospace and Defense

TTM Revenue

$23.7 billion


CEO William Swanson (since 2003)

CFO David Wajsgras (since 2006)

Return on Equity (average, last three years)


Dividend Yield



Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)

Boeing (NYSE:BA)

CAPS members bullish on RTN also bullish on

General Electric (NYSE:GE)


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 1,038 of the 1,093 members who have rated Raytheon -- some 95% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include zk116 and BSHumphreyII, both of whom are ranked in the top 10% of our community.

In late April, zk116 tapped Raytheon as a particularly trendy play: "Solid earnings growth. Increases in spending should help this company and also debt is being paid back. This isn't a buy and hold, but a buy and take profits."

In an earlier pitch, BSHumphreyII expands on Raytheon as a world-renowned rocket stock:

Raytheon is easily the world leader in missiles, with a great portfolio of long-term contracts. Less will in the United States to deploy infantry overseas could mean a return to the Tomahawk diplomacy of old, and Raytheon is delivering a new generation of Tomahawks and other ground attack missiles. Also, international sales should be strong as our allies modernize their missile inventories. Software, sensors, and other electronics round out a strong, forward-looking defense contract business.

Look for them to continue to grow earnings while a lot of business in a lot of other sectors contract through the recession.

What do you think about Raytheon, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 135,000 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 recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.