Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, private equity firm American Capital (Nasdaq: ACAS) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

American Capital facts

Headquarters (founded) Bethesda, Md. (1986)
Market Cap $3.0 billion
Industry Asset management
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $581.0 million
Management Founder/Chairman/CEO Malon Wilkus
CFO John Erickson
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 18.3%
Cash/Debt $323.0 million / $1.2 billion
Competitors Ares Capital
Fortress Investment Group
MCG Capital

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 2,048 members who have rated American Capital believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.  

Earlier this month, one of those Fools, All-Star Staka, helped weigh the stock's pros and cons for our community:

- Compelling valuation
- General fear the stock gets beaten down hugely in next recession as was the case 2008 but this time debt and valuations are much lower -> much lower risk
- A big tax carry forward will contribute to future results
- Good management

- Somewhat opaque business (contributes to bargain status)
- Q1 was a mixed bag
- Across the board insider selling

If you want market-beating returns, 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 its four-star rating, American Capital may not be your top choice.

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