Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, defense contractor General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

General Dynamics facts

Headquarters (founded)

Falls Church, Va. (1899)

Market Cap

$24.2 billion


Aerospace and defense

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$31.5 billion


Chairman/CEO Jay Johnson

CFO L. Hugh Redd

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$1.9 billion / $3.9 billion

Dividend Yield



Boeing (NYSE: BA)

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)

Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC)

Raytheon (NYSE: RTN)

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 1,252 members who have rated General Dynamics believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Star ayaghsizian, who is ranked in the top 3% of our community, and KnockoutMouse.

Two months ago , ayaghsizian tapped General Dynamics as a way to play defense: "A few of the companies in this sector and industry seem to have taken a 20-25% drop in price. With a P/E of 10 and good growth estimates (and a dividend) how can this one be a very bad pick."

While shares of General Dynamics have recovered a bit recently, they're still down more than 15% over the past six months. In fact, concern over lower defense spending also has the stocks of rivals Boeing, Lockheed, and Raytheon sporting double-digit losses over the same time period. Northrop is down 7%. Of course, with each of these defense companies (except Boeing), trading at an average single-digit forward P/E, the entire defense sector seems to be offering some decent value at the moment.

CAPS member KnockoutMouse explains why General Dynamics, in particular, is a good bet to turn around:

[General Dynamics] is well positioned in the defense industry as the prime producer of warships, submarines, tanks and [armored personnel carriers]. Growth is based on the level of tension and conflict in the world, NOT on the internal politics of the USA. Ask yourself if the world will be any safer/peaceful/free in the next few years? Buy [General Dynamics] if the answer was "no" or "I don't know".

What do you think about General Dynamics, 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. General Dynamics is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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