Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, unmanned aerial vehicle specialist AeroVironment (Nasdaq: AVAV) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

AeroVironment facts

   
Headquarters (Founded) Monrovia, Calif. (1971)
Market Cap $639.6 million
Industry Aerospace and defense
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $285.8 million
Management Chairman/CEO Timothy Conver
CFO Jikun Kim
Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 9.8%
Cash/Debt $161.88 million / $0
Competitors Boeing (NYSE: BA)
L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL)
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 566 members who have rated AeroVironment believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include bombaseed and fellow Fool Alex Scherer (TMFEnochRoot), who is ranked in the top 0.5% of our community.

Earlier this week, bombaseed listed several of AeroVironment's positives:

Nice growth opportunity here with solid balance sheet and decent valuation for added safety. Pilotless planes are becoming increasingly critical in modern espionage and warfare. Exciting pick.

Over the next five years, in fact, AeroVironment is expected to grow its bottom line at a brisk rate of 20.3% annually. That's much faster than larger competitors like Boeing (10.8%), L-3 (7.8%), and Lockheed (9.1%). 

Alex elaborates on the AeroVironment bull case:

Lots of ways to win here. Recovery from near term overreaction to the GlobalObserver crash should help in the near term. Takeout possibilities always provide upside, as small UAV is a growth area in an increasingly negative growth sector and the large defense primes have stated their interest. And the emerging electric vehicle charging business has a long attractive growth runway of its own. Tremendously strong balance sheet, talented management team, high ROIC business, just lots to like here.

What do you think about AeroVironment, 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!  

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. AeroVironment is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Alpha Newsletter Account, LLC, owns shares of L-3. The Fool owns shares of L-3 and Lockheed. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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