Based on the aggregated intelligence of 140,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NYSE:NVS) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Novartis facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Basel, Switzerland (1895)

Market Cap

$115.5 billion



Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$42.05 billion


Chairman/CEO Dr. Daniel Vasella (since 1999)
CFO Dr. Raymund Breu (since 1996)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)


Cash / Debt

$11.8 billion / $13.9 billion

Dividend Yield



AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK)
Merck (NYSE:MRK)

CAPS Members Bullish on NVS Also Bullish on

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

CAPS Members Bearish on NVS Also Bearish on

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM)

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 1,373 members who have rated Novartis believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Ecomike and All-Star TSIF, who is ranked in the top 2% of our community.

Last month, Ecomike tapped the stock as a solid way to generate income: "Continued improvement in new drug news, expected increases in sales in the pipeline, great dividend growth history, still growing, great earnings growth history."

In a pitch from just last week, TSIF expands on Novartis as a can't-miss Swiss:

With margins in the 20% range and annual revenue of $42 Billion, and positive cash flow in the $5 Billion plus range, Novartis may not be outperforming the S&P with it coming off its fear induced bottom, but it will continue to shine long after the S&P has ran out of steam. It is difficult for drug companies to maintain headway when licenses to core revenue drugs expire and generics infringe on the margins, but Novartis has continued to lead in new drug development and will get an added bonus from the mutating flu strains. ... The recession impacts drug companies as well as other industries, but not quite as deeply. The 3.4% dividend will help make Novartis a winner and eventually it will trump the S&P.

What do you think about Novartis, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. The CAPS community is waiting to hear your opinions. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Novartis is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick, Johnson & Johnson is an Income Investor choice, and Pfizer is a selection of Inside Value. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.