Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, seed giant Monsanto (NYSE: MON) earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Monsanto facts

Headquarters (Founded) St. Louis (2000)
Market Cap $25.8 billion
Industry Agricultural chemicals
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $10.43 billion
Management

Chairman/CEO Hugh Grant

CFO Carl Casale

Return on Capital (Average, Past 3 Years) 11.7%
Cash/Debt $475 million / $2.7 billion
Dividend Yield 2.3%
Competitors

DuPont (NYSE: DD)
Syngenta (NYSE: SYT)

Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW)

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

On CAPS, 96% of the 3,085 members who have rated Monsanto believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Star xserver, who is ranked in the top 2% of our community, and ellipsoid.

This past summer, xserver touched on the powerful tailwind working in Monsanto's favor: "The demand for food continues to outstrip the resources (arable land, for instance) needed to produce it. This company provides the solution. Like it or not, the world will eventually accept transgenic food. Better than starving."

While Monsanto's biotech crops continue to attract public scrutiny, our community simply can't deny its dominance of the seed business. Although it faces increasingly fierce competition from the likes of DuPont, Syngenta, and Dow, Monsanto remains a monopolistic force in several seed categories, like U.S. soybean, corn, and cotton. Also, with Monsanto lagging each of those same stocks, as well as agricultural alternatives Mosaic (NYSE: MOS) and PotashCorp (NYSE: POT), by an average of 35 percentage points in 2010, the shares could offer a timely opportunity, to boot.

CAPS member ellipsoid elaborates:

As one of the most controversial companies in existence, Monsanto gets a lot of positive and negative press. Proponents tout increased crop yields for a growing population and opponents ponder the morality of their gene modification techniques. However, for me this (outperform) pick is about a well run company with a strong balance sheet that has been oversold on potential short term issues. The company has strong patent rights and a pipeline of innovations that should reward shareholders over the years to come.

What do you think about Monsanto, 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. Monsanto is a former Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Syngenta AG is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a synthetic long position on Monsanto. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.