Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, heavy equipment giant Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Caterpillar facts

Headquarters (Founded) Peoria, Ill. (1925)
Market Cap $58.5 million
Industry Farm and construction machinery
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $37.68 billion
Management

CEO Douglas Oberhelman

CFO Edward Rapp

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 26.5%
Cash/Debt $835 million / $28.64 billion
Dividend Yield 1.9%
Competitors

Deere (NYSE: DE)

CNH Global (NYSE: CNH)

Terex (NYSE: TEX)

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

On CAPS, 94% of the 5,161 members who have rated Caterpillar believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include juslen and EpiphanyStock.

Just last month, juslen tapped the stock as a particularly far-reaching selection: "Recession worldwide may be coming to a close and [Caterpillar] will be there to pick up business its lacking here in the United States."

As the world's largest producer of heavy construction equipment, Caterpillar remains one of our community's favorite plays on a global turnaround. Thanks in part to the emerging market opportunities gained from its recent purchase of Bucyrus International (Nasdaq: BUCY), Caterpillar is expected to grow profits at a faster pace (17.3% per annum) than rivals Deere (11.3%), CNH (14.5%), Terex (6%), and Joy Global (Nasdaq: JOYG) (10.5%) over the next five years.

CAPS member EpiphanyStock elaborates on the bull case:

Fear not about the strong run shares have seen this year. Fear not about whether they overpaid for [Bucyrus]; the stock rose on the day of the announcement, a rare feat of investor approval. ...

Cat has done this well so far on the strength of emerging markets (where it has a fantastic foothold and supply chain) and mining. When global construction/infrastructure finally ticks back up, [Caterpillar] will have another double in store, plus room to run. [Caterpillar] could easily become one of the 10 largest market caps in America by the year 2020.

What do you think about Caterpillar, 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. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.