Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, utility holding company Cleco (UNKNOWN:CNL.DL) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Cleco facts

Headquarters (founded)

Pineville, La. (1934)

Market Cap

$2.6 billion


Electric utilities

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$993.7 million


CEO Bruce Williamson (since 2011)

CFO Darren Olagues (since 2009)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$31.0 million / $1.4 billion

Dividend Yield



CenterPoint Energy



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

On CAPS, 92% of the 88 members who have rated Cleco believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just last week, one of those Fools, All-Star TeenStockPicker, tapped the stock as a particularly solid income opportunity:

Cleco operates in two segments: Cleco Power, a regulated electric utility that serves approximately 279,000 customers in Louisiana, and Cleco Midstream, a competitive wholesale generation business. They definitely have a reliable dividend, it has been paid out to investors since 1935, and their payout ratio is currently 45. Last year Cleco gave their future a big boost by signing a 10-year contract to supply power to Dixie Electric Membership Corp. The contract takes effect in early 2014 and analysts have predicted annual earnings growth will increase from 2% to 6% in upcoming years.

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

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Southern Company. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.