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

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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