Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, energy control equipment specialist Powell Industries (Nasdaq: POWL) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Powell facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Houston (1947)

Market Cap

$375.4 million


Industrial electrical equipment

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$550.7 million


CEO Patrick McDonald (since 2008)

CFO Don Madison (since 2001)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)



$115.3 million / $6.9 million



Eaton (NYSE: ETN)

General Electric (NYSE: GE)

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

On CAPS, 91% of the 139 members who have rated Powell believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include hunterjumper and All-Star mrindependent, who is ranked in the top 2% of our community.

Late last month, hunterjumper tapped Powell as a particularly powerful pick: "[S]pending will come back into this market and these guys know how to do their jobs."

Powell's relatively small size and rock-solid balance sheet make it a potent play on much-needed upgrades to the nation's aging electrical grid. Over the past five years, Powell has even grown its bottom line (46.5% per annum) at a substantially faster pace than much larger rivals ABB (15.5%), AZZ (NYSE: AZZ) (33%), Eaton (-8.5%), and GE (-15%).

CAPS All-Star mrindependent weighs Powell's pros and cons:

This company looks reasonably valued and appears to be well positioned to eventually take advantage of the upcoming upgrades to the electrical grid in the US. Five year time horizon, because timing is uncertain. Sorry state of financing for fed, state and local governments may continue to delay electrical [projectors] -- and this could hurt Powell's stock price.

What do you think about Powell, 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.