Based on the aggregated intelligence of 165,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, buttery spread specialist Smart Balance (Nasdaq: SMBL) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Smart Balance facts


Paramus, N.J.

Market Cap

$225 million


Packaged foods and meats

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$238 million


Founder/CEO Stephen Hughes

CFO Alan Gever

Return on Capital (average, past 3 years)



$4 million / $53 million


ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG)

Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT)

Unilever (NYSE: UL)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 95% of the 341 members who have rated Smart Balance believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include glenncv and mamastox.

A few months ago , glenncv wrote that "once the economy fully recovered more customers will go back to their regular spending habits, in which they purchase quality products instead of cheap products." Our CAPS member concludes: "This will increase the sale of Smart Balance healthy choices instead of the cheaper brands."

Unfortunately, continued economic weakness and increased competition have put a serious hurt on that bull case so far. In fact, shares of Smart Balance are down 45% over the past four months alone, as healthy offerings from the likes of Unilever (Promise), ConAgra (Healthy Choice), and Kraft (SnackWell's) are all doing their part to pressure the company's prices. While our community continues to like the stock as a tasty takeover target for food giants General Mills (NYSE: GIS) or H.J. Heinz (NYSE: HNZ), my fellow Fool Rick Munarriz wrote earlier this month that Smart Balance's current position in the market simply doesn't deserve too big of a premium.

Of course, with a proven leader at the helm and a portfolio of respectable brands, CAPS members like mamastox still think Smart Balance has the potential to deliver healthy returns over time:

I am long on [Smart Balance]. CEO Stephen Hughes is a leader of innovation and for creating shareholder value in the consumer package goods, and the food and beverage industry.

Hughes led the team that launched ConAgra's Healthy Choice line, building the brand's revenue to $1 billion in four years. ...

[Smart Balance] is a good solid company with top executives. But, more than that I buy their products for my family and i am looking forward to the Smart Balance Milk to see if the taste holds up to the hype.

What do you think about Smart Balance, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!