Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Australian mining giant BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

BHP facts

Headquarters (founded)

Melbourne, Australia (1885)

Market Cap

$214.10 billion


Diversified metals and mining

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$72.74 billion


CEO Marius Kloppers (since 2007)
CFO Alexandre Vanselow (since 2006)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$10.3 billion / $12.4 billion

Dividend Yield



Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX)
Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO)

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 2,751 members who have rated BHP believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Downeastah and irvduffy.

Earlier this summer, Downeastah tapped BHP as a particularly solid pick: "One of the largest mining companies with global presence and with a large range of products. A good hedge against inflation that is bound to come fairly soon."

Over the past five years, in fact, BHP has grown its dividend at a brisk rate of 23% annually. That's much faster than that of other large miners such as Freeport (7%) and Rio Tinto (7.5%), let alone Vale's average dividend decline of 2%.

CAPS member irvduffy elaborates on the bull case:

BHP Billiton is an Australian mining company that has been severely affected by the floods from earlier this year. ... BHP productivity is off ... and this has been most of the cause of the stagnant progress which is definitely a short term setback. At the same time, BHP Billiton plans to expand operations- threefold- in the next couple of years. Companies like BHP, [Buenaventura] and [Petrobras] are going to make huge gains in order to keep up with Chinese demands and must act quickly. This is a major opportunity to pick up some undervalued stocks, because it won't last long!

What do you think about BHP, 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!

Interested in another easy way to track BHP? Add it to your watchlist.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.