Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, LED equipment maker Veeco Instruments (Nasdaq: VECO) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Veeco facts

Headquarters (Founded) Plainview, N.Y. (1945)
Market Cap $1.88 billion
Industry Semiconductor equipment
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $850.11 million

CEO John Peeler (since 2007)

CFO David Glass (since 2010)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 0.5%
Cash/Debt $435.26 million / $103.29 million

Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A)

Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT)

Aixtron (Nasdaq: AIXG)

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

On CAPS, 94% of the 422 members who have rated Veeco believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Rmorris81 and Peetie2investor.

Just last month, CAPS member tapped Veeco as a particularly timely pick: "I like this company for many reasons and think the recent downgrade and drop in price, amplified by large amounts of short selling, is just a short term setback. ... It also keeps popping up on everyone's radar as a takeover candidate."

Veeco's strong competitive position and cheapish valuation have made it an increasingly popular play on the growth of LED lighting. Currently, Veeco even trades at a price-to-cash flow (8.5) discount to rivals Agilent (20.7), Applied Materials (10.8), and Aixtron (14.9), as well as LED bellwether Cree (Nasdaq: CREE) (26.5).

CAPS member Peetie2investor elaborates on Veeco as a bright decision:

Given its recent EPS growth, this manufacturer of machines that make LEDs and thin solar films appears to be a value and a growth play rolled into one. Investing in a hot industry (LED and solar) is always a dicey proposition, but that's usually because the companies are so overpriced. That's not the case with [Veeco].

What do you think about Veeco, 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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