Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, retail behemoth Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Wal-Mart facts

Founded Bentonville, Ark. (1945
Market Cap 234.5 billion
Industry Hypermarkets and supercenters
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $455.8 billion
Management CEO Michael Duke (since 2009)
CFO Charles Holley (since 2010)
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 23.3%
Cash/Debt $8.1 billion / $54.8 billion
Dividend Yield 2.3%
Competitors Carrefour SA
Costco Wholesale
Target

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

On CAPS, 89% of the 7,059 members who have rated Wal-Mart believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.  

Just last month, one of those bulls, cajun1958, tapped Wal-Mart as a particularly timely opportunity:

Weak employment numbers means more floor traffic for [Wal-Mart]. [Kroger] is trying to compete with [Wal-Mart] on grocery prices but the GM (general merchandise) dog food, shampoo, charcoal etc. is [Wal-Mart's] bread and butter. Combine this with constant expansion, cost cutting and a decent yield and [Wal-Mart] has a winning formula to keep top line & bottom line moving up and keep investors interested.

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, Wal-Mart may not be your top choice.

We've found another retailer we are incredibly excited about -- excited enough to dub it "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." We have compiled a special free report for investors to uncover this stock today. The report is 100% free, but it won't be here forever, so click here to access it now.

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Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart, as well as buying shares of Costco. The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco. 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.