Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, public utility holding company Northeast Utilities (NYSE:ES) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Northeast Utilities facts

Headquarters (founded)

Hartford, Conn. (1927)

Market Cap

$12.0 billion

Industry

Electric utilities

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$5.7 billion

Management

CEO Thomas May

CFO James Judge

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)

8.9%

Cash/Debt

$155.1 million / $9.1 billion

Dividend yield

3.6%

Competitors

Alliant Energy (NASDAQ:LNT)

National Grid (NYSE:NGG)

NiSource (NYSE:NI)

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 123 members who have rated Northeast Utilities believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just yesterday, one of those bulls, fellow Fool Justin Loiseau (TMFJLo), succinctly summed up the outperform case for our community: "Over the next 10 years, Northeast estimates that it will gain around $780 million from merger savings. Short-term investors worry over short-term concessions, but the value of a larger and stronger utility is already showing itself in the company's ability to effectively respond to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, and it won't stop there."

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 a strong four-star rating, Northeast Utilities may not be your top choice.

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

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.