Based on the aggregated intelligence of 160,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Spanish banking giant Banco Santander (NYSE: STD) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Banco Santander facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Madrid, Spain (1857)

Market Cap

$110.8 billion


Diversified banks

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$40.3 billion


CEO Alfredo Abad

CFO Jose Alvarez

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)


Dividend Yield



HSBC Holdings (NYSE: HBC)

Citigroup (NYSE: C)

Barclays (NYSE: BCS)

Other Highly Rated Bank Stocks

Allied Irish Banks (NYSE: AIB)

US Bancorp (NYSE: USB)

Umpqua Holdings (Nasdaq: UMPQ)

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

On CAPS, 94% of the 532 members who have rated Santander believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include markismighty78 and All-Star TSIF, who is ranked in the top 1% of our community.

Two weeks ago, markismighty78 singled out Santander as a solid stock to bank on: "Fundamentally strong bank. It is actually making a profit. Recent downturn due to Greece, Spanish, Irish debt has left this thing as a prime buying opportunity. The EU will come to support its weaker nations in some form."

In a pitch from late last week, TSIF elaborates on that bullishness. Here's an excerpt:

Well over half its branches are NOT in the Eurozone. Its "refocus" on US based Sovereign Bank in the height of the crisis at a bargain price should also help. I always contend that it's very hard to value banks in light of the financial crisis we have been in and the inability to judge loan quality. At a 100 BILLION market cap, Banco Santander should have a diversified base.

Cash and investments (on paper) seem strong and Banco Santander did not post the large loses some other banks did. It doesn't mean there isn't another shoe to drop, but it strengthens my premise that in this case "big is better" and Banco Santander, founded in 1857, will survive this crisis, just fine.

What do you think about Santander, 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. Umpqua is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.