Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, nuclear equipment specialist Babcock & Wilcox (NYSE: BWC) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

B&W facts

Headquarters (Founded) Charlotte, N.C. (1867)
Market Cap $3.35 billion
Industry Heavy electrical equipment
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $2.67 billion
Management

CEO Brandon Bethards (since November 2008)

CFO Michael Taff (since July 2010)

Trailing-12-Month Operating Margin 5.9%
Cash/Debt $178 million / $8.2 million
Competitors

Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq: FWLT)

Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC)

Fluor (NYSE: FLR)

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

On CAPS, all 57 members who have rated B&W so far believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include circaclown and fellow Fool Rich Duprey (TMFCop), who is ranked in the top 20% of our community.

Just last week, circaclown tapped B&W's recent contract wins as a particularly positive sign: "More than $2.5 billion in contracts already awarded. ... [That] says a lot about management's ability and reputation. Not just the management but company's reputation of making stuff that decision makers are willing to buy."

Shares of B&W are up a solid 24% from its opening-day close since being spun off from McDermott (NYSE: MDR) in early August, but many Fools think they still have room to run. Currently, B&W's forward P/E of 17.2 is roughly in line with nuclear engineering rivals Foster Wheeler (17.0), Jacobs (17.1), and Fluor (20.6), and lower than that of other nuclear plays like Cameco (NYSE: CCJ) (29.3) and UR-Energy (AMEX: URG) (158.5).

Rich expands on the atomic opportunity:

The smaller, modular style of reactor B&W is planning will be a disruptive force in the nuclear industry. Factory-built and delivered to the site ready to "plug-and-play," it can be scaled up as necessary to meet customers' growing demand.

The key will be getting the design approved, and even though smaller in size no one wants a nuclear power plant in their backyard. These are traditional concerns for a very untraditional technology however, and B&W should be able to overcome these obstacles.

The stock has soared since its spinoff last summer, but should be a good long-term addition to a portfolio.

What do you think about B&W, 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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