Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Brazilian mining giant Vale (NYSE:VALE) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Vale facts

Headquarters (founded)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1942)

Market Cap

$88.2 billion

Industry

Industrial metals and minerals

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$46.8 billion

Management

CEO Murilo Ferreira (since May 2011)

CFO Luciano Pires (since July 2012)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)

21.8%

Cash/Debt

$8.8 billion / $31.6 billion

Dividend Yield

3.6%

Competitors

BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP)

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)

Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO)

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 6,611 members who have rated Vale believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just last week, one of those bulls, BobHmine, offered Fools some perspective on Vale's seemingly worrisome exposure:

It is largely dependent on iron ore (steel) for profits and sales to China, but it is not as lopsided as one might think from reading their last quarterly report. Although they apparently don't break out their profits along the type of mineral they mine, they do break out revenue. [I]ron ore is about [60% of operating revenue] and then China [35% of operating revenue]. Plus they pay an excellent dividend and have a low P/E ratio.

If you want market-thumping 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, Vale may not be your top choice.

If that's the case, we've compiled a special free report for investors called "The Tiny Gold Stock Digging Up Massive Profits," which uncovers a much smaller miner with big potential. The report is 100% free, but it won't be around forever, so click here to access it now.

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.