Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, natural gas and oil producer Penn Virginia (NYSE: PVA) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Penn Virginia facts

Headquarters (Founded) Radnor, Penn. (1882)
Market Cap $656.8 million
Industry Oil and gas exploration and production
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $813.15 million
Management CEO A. James Dearlove (since 2002)
COO H. Baird Whitehead (since 2009)
Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 1.1%
Cash/Debt $328.68 million / $503.67 million
Dividend Yield 1.5%
Competitors Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG)
Range Resources (NYSE: RRC)

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

On CAPS, 91% of the 204 members who have rated Penn Virginia believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Star stan68ar, who is ranked in the top 2% of our community, and Retracement.

Just last month, stan68ar tapped Penn Virginia as a particularly timely opportunity: "[G]etting in while its cheap ... [M]arcellus shale play."

Penn Virginia's potent mix of oily assets (Granite Wash, Cotton Valley, Eagle Ford) and gassy assets (Haynesville, Selma Chalk, Marcellus) is becoming too cheap for Fools to ignore. The stock currently sits at a price-to-book of 0.7, representing a substantial discount to close rivals Cabot (1.7), EQT (1.9), and Range Resources (2.3), as well as more obvious shale-formation tappers like Chesapeake (NYSE: CHK) (1.2), Anadarko (NYSE: APC) (1.5), and Apache (NYSE: APA) (2.1). With Penn Virginia having recently completed the sale of its non-core assets, CAPS member Retracement thinks the stock is now a potently pure production play:

The capital is now being deployed to accelerate growth in the near-term production in the oil and liquids rich Granite Wash and horizontal Cotton Valley plays. They are also adding acreage to their core holdings in the Granite Wash and Marcellus Shale plays. ...

Penn Virginia Corporation was trading in the $25 dollar range during the first half of 2010, but a recent pullback has meant that I can now buy shares in this well-managed company for significantly less then book value. ...

I'm very comfortable with my margin of safety investing in this company at present levels.

What do you think about Penn Virginia, 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. Chesapeake is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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