Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, infectious disease drug specialist ViroPharma (Nasdaq: VPHM) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

ViroPharma facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Exton, Penn. (1994)

Market Cap

$1.36 billion



Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$475.4 million


Chairman/CEO Vincent Milano
CFO Charles Rowland, Jr.

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)



$495 million / $147.6 million


AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN)
Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD)
Salix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLXP)

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 1,265 members who have rated ViroPharma believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include fellow Fool Rich Smith (TMFDitty) and zzlangerhans, both of whom are ranked in the top 1% of our community.

Late last year, Rich tapped ViroPharma as a particularly potent opportunity: "Projected growth is upwards of 15%, and I don't see the risk of hospital infections going away any time soon. Looks like a strong, long term growth/value candidate to me."

Over the past three years, in fact, ViroPharma has grown its top line at a brisk rate of 32%. That's faster than listed competitors AstraZeneca (2.9%), Gilead (20.4%), and Salix (23.8%).

CAPS All-Star and biotech expert zzlangerhans elaborated on the bull case just a couple of weeks ago:

I've been keeping Viropharm at arm's length for quite a while, expecting news of a Vancocin generic to cleave the share price in twain at any moment. In the meantime, the company's genius 2008 acquisition Cinryze has shown steady growth with no sign of maturity. ...

Lately the share price has shown signs of slacking momentum, falling off highs in the low 20's seen in April. Perhaps continuing legal setbacks in their fight against generic Vancocin, or the recent approval of Optimer's fidaxomicin, are finally taking their toll on investor optimism. But Cinryze has received a favorable opinion from CHMP and European sales may begin before the end of the year. The company has been buying back shares, and non-toxigenic c.diff strain VP20621 recently kicked off a phase II study to prevent c.diff recurrence.

What do you think about ViroPharma, 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. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Gilead. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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