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

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

AstraZeneca facts

Headquarters (founded)

London (1992)

Market Cap

$69.06 billion




$33.27 billion


CEO David Brennan (since 2006)

CFO Simon Lowth (since 2007)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$12.55 billion / $9.22 billion

Dividend Yield



Merck (NYSE: MRK)

Novartis (NYSE: NVS)

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 664 members who have rated AstraZeneca believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include fellow Fool Rich Smith (TMFDitty), who is ranked in the top 1% of our community, and thebrokengroup.

Just last month , Rich tapped the stock as a healthy bargain opportunity:

AstraZeneca boasts a cash-rich balance sheet, a price-to-free cash flow ratio of less than seven, and ... essentially no growth prospects whatsoever (at least according to Wall Street.) That's okay. At this low a price, I don't need growth.

In fact, AstraZeneca even sports a cheapish forward P/E of 8.2. That represents a slight discount to other big pharma stocks such as Merck (9.4), Novartis (10.5), and Pfizer (9.1).

CAPS member thebrokengroup elaborates on the AstraZeneca bull case:

Great price, great dividend, great product, and a giant in the drug business. More people are getting older and more people will need medications. We all want to live longer and stay healthy. I personally depend on Symbicort to manage my asthma when I get sick -- and it's an amazing product that improves my quality of life.

What do you think about AstraZeneca, 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. Novartis is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Pfizer is an Inside Value recommendation. 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.