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 $25.8 billion
Industry Diversified metals and mining
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $75.5 billion
Management CEO Marius Kloppers (since 2007)
Chief Commercial Officer Alberto Calderon (since 2007)
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 31.8%
Cash/Debt $4.4 billion / $25.1 billion
Dividend Yield 3.1%
Competitors Alcoa
Rio Tinto
Vale

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 97% of the 2,804 members who have rated BHP believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.  

Earlier this month, one of those Fools, callumturcan, touched on the tailwinds working in BHP's favor:

It is well positioned to take advantage of China, India, and other emerging markets rapid GDP growth, which will cause a greater need for metals, coal, and other things BHP produces. The urbanization of China and other nations will drive up the cost of steel, coal, and iron. Plus, high oil prices will also benefit BHP's bottom line.  

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. Of course, despite a strong four-star rating, BHP may not be your top choice.

If that's the case, we've compiled a special free report for investors called "The Tiny Gold Stock Digging Up Massive Profits," which uncovers a much smaller miner with big potential. The report is 100% free, but it won't be around forever, so click here to access it now. 

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the new TrackPoisedTo CAPS account.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. 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.