Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, dry-bulk shipper Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Diana facts

Headquarters (founded) Athens, Greece (1999)
Market Cap $1 billion
Industry Shipping
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $261.1 million

Chairman/CEO Simeon Palios (since 2005)

CFO Andreas Michalopoulos (since 2006)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 18%
Cash/Debt $311.2 million / $337.3 million

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS)

Navios Maritime (NYSE: NM)

Eagle Bulk Shipping (Nasdaq: EGLE)

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

On CAPS, 98% of the 2,541 members who have rated Diana believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include pbkirk and Teacherman1.

Last month , pbkirk tapped Diana as a tempting turnaround opportunity: "Shipping may well be in for a few years of hurt, but the global economy will recover, people will still need to get stuff from A to B. With it's relatively low debt, [Diana] looks well placed to survive and to grow at the expense of more leveraged competitors."

Diana's young dry-bulk fleet and rock-solid balance sheet continue to support its five-star CAPS status. In fact, Diana currently boasts a substantially lower debt-to-equity ratio (0.30) than DryShips (0.97), Navios (2.2), and Eagle Bulk (1.7), as well as Excel Maritime (NYSE: EXM) (0.70) and Genco Shipping (NYSE: GNK) (1.6).

Just last week, CAPS member Teacherman1 tapped Diana as a timely opportunity, to boot:

This is basically as low as it has been in the last 52 weeks. ...

They are making money, and 2010 was better than 2009, in which they also made money.

Their total debt is only about .33% of their total equity, and their cash and near cash assets, as of 9-30-2010, was just about equal to their total debt. ...

I think this is best in class among the Dry Bulk shipping companies, at least balance sheet wise, even if they are a little too conservative sometimes.

You might want to consider a small position, and watch to add on dips. In the longer term, this will go back up from here.

What do you think about Diana, 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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