Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, milk company Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Dean facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Dallas (1925)

Market Cap

$1.35 billion


Packaged foods and meats

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$12 billion


Chairman/CEO Gregg Engles

President/COO Joseph Scalzo

Return on Capital (Average, Past 3 Years)



$102.1 million / $4.2 billion


Lifeway Foods (Nasdaq: LWAY)

Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT)

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

On CAPS, 90% of the 492 members who have rated Dean believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Eldarion and All-Star TheResurrection, who is ranked in the top 10% of our community.

Just last month , Eldarion urged Fools to pounce on Dean's plunging price: "They suffered last quarter because of a disconnect between their pricing and commodity pricing. Once things begin to resolve themselves, Dean Foods will rebound."

Intense competition and volatile input prices have weighed heavily on Dean's shares in 2010 (down 60%), but many Fools believe they're just too cheap to ignore. Despite its leading U.S. dairy market position, Dean trades at a substantial forward P/E (8.9) discount to rivals like Lifeway (20.0) and Kraft (13.2), as well as other dairy stocks like Synutra International (Nasdaq: SYUT) (25.3), American Dairy (NYSE: ADY) (15.6), and the recently coveted Wimm-Bill-Dann (NYSE: WBD) (28.7).

CAPS All-Star TheResurrection sums up the turnaround opportunity:

The bovine milk segment should continue to deliver decent growth, but it will have the ups and downs endemic to any mature market. Some quarters profits will be down due to downward retail pricing pressures and upward costs of raw product. Other quarters will surprise as downward retail pricing pressures let off and the cyclical nature of the raw product production takes hold.

Buy on weakness and accumulate shares.

What do you think about Dean, 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!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.