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 $3.6 billion
Industry Asset management
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $602.0 million
Management Founder/Chairman/CEO Malon Wilkus
CFO John Erickson
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 27.1%
Cash/Debt $316.6 million / $988.0 million
Competitors Ares Capital
Fortress Investment Group LLC
MCG Capital

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 2,054 of the members who have rated American Capital believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

A couple of months ago, one of those Fools, All-Star jwray01, tapped American Capital as an attractive bargain opportunity:

[V]ery low P/B and P/E. They invest in corporate debt on a leveraged basis. They also manage [American Capital Agency] and [American Capital Mortgage] and manage some private equity funds and collect management fees from that. They also have a huge tax loss carryover.

They got burned really badly during the 2008 liquidity crisis and ever since then it's been trading at a major discount to book value. Too low, [in my opinion].

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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.