Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, small-cap oil and natural gas producer ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at ATP's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

ATP facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Houston (1991)

Market Cap

$621.9 million


Oil and gas exploration and production

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$343.4 million


Founder/CEO T. Paul Bulmahn
CFO Albert Reese Jr.

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)



$205.9 million / $1.64 billion


Stone Energy (NYSE: SGY)
Forest Oil (NYSE: FST)
Newfield Exploration (NYSE: NFX)

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 1,250 members who have rated ATP believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include my fellow Fool Dave Mock (TMFBeachBum), who is ranked in the top 10% of our community, and CustardPies.

Just last month, Dave highlighted ATP as a super-slick selection: "Too much pessimism built into the stock. Exposure to the moratorium should be only a temporary setback."

In fact, ATP is down nearly 50% since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, underperforming rivals such as Stone Energy, Forest, and Newfield over the same time frame. Even those giants at the heart of the debacle, BP (NYSE: BP), Transocean (NYSE: RIG), and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), haven't been punished as hard. Of course, as a small fry with fewer resources, an alarming debt-to-equity ratio of 4, and the vast majority of its operations in the Gulf, few companies are more vulnerable to the deepwater moratorium than ATP.

For those very same reasons, however, CAPS members like CustardPies think ATP's upside, if and when deepwater drilling returns to normalcy, is just too huge to ignore:

The Telemark Hub and many ATP operations in the Gulf have been disrupted by the oil spill and will be affected by the moratorium. However, this company still has the Telemark Hub ready and rearing to go. This disruption has resulted in [ATP] being severely over-sold. Nice time to get in. ... [ATP] is at a good price right now, with a lot of upside once this spill scare is over.

What do you think about ATP, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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