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

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

Duke facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Charlotte, N.C. (1916)

Market Cap

$23.5 billion

Industry

Electric utilities

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$13.1 billion

Management

Chairman/CEO James Rogers Jr.

CFO Lynn Good

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)

5.5%

Dividend Yield

5.5%

Competitors

Southern (NYSE: SO)

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP)

Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN)

Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG)

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 1,823 members who have rated Duke believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Rudyescher and GimliJan.

Just last week, Rudyescher tapped Duke as an electric income opportunity: "Well run company, excellent Sr. Management Team, Great dividend yields about 5.5%. If they can hold dividends through the current climate they will come out very strong."

Duke's stable cash flows, well-diversified asset base, and attractive valuation continue support its four-star CAPS status. In fact, Duke's current dividend yield (5.5%) rivals Progress Energy's (5.5%) and tops that of competitors like American Electric (4.6%), Southern (4.9%), and Constellation (3%). Of course, if Duke's green energy growth prospects are as attractive as CAPS member GimliJan thinks they are, the stock should have some exciting total return potential, to boot:

 

Utilities that diversify their generation sources away from Coal and co-opt with others on government mandated "alternative energy" generation mandates will survive and thrive. A huge amount of space has been devoted by the news media's, stock websites, etc. to alternative energy, smart grid, electric cars, etc.

[Duke] is well positioned to benefit long term from this new perception that "Green" is the way to go. They recently signed a agreement with a Chinese company to build a Solar/Natural Gas generation facility. They are working to add more Nuclear and Wind to their energy generation capacity.

The CEO is very savvy and gave significant input into the Governments Energy Policies, Carbon Cap and Trade Legislation efforts.

What do you think about Duke, 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. Duke and Southern are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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