Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, silver miner Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Hecla facts

Headquarters (Founded) Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (1891)
Market Cap $1.6 billion
Industry Precious metals and minerals
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $351.7 million
Management

CEO Phillips Baker Jr. (since 2003)

CFO James Sabala (since 2008)

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 4.5%
Cash/Debt $197.4 million / $4.7 million
Competitors

Silver Standard Resources (Nasdaq: SSRI)

Coeur d'Alene (NYSE: CDE)

Pan American Silver (Nasdaq: PAAS)

Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY)

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

On CAPS, 94% of the 1,032 members who have rated Hecla believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include mitleg and All-Star DarthMaul09, who is ranked in the top 1% of our community.

About a month ago, mitleg highlighted Hecla as "a great low cost silver producer." Our CAPS member concludes: "They are now essentially debt free, and have good growth prospects. They carry a fair amount of cash on their balance sheet."

Hecla's low-cost advantage and rock-solid financial position continue to support its four-star status. Thanks in large part to Hecla's negative cash silver production cost, its three-year return on equity (4.5%) is in line with giant Yamana's (5.3%) and well above that of peers Coeur d'Alene (minus 1.6%) and Silver Standard (minus 4.5%). Moreover, with a price-to-cash flow of just 9.9 -- a clear discount to other highly rated silver plays like Pan American (16.2) and Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW) (36.8) -- Hecla seems like a relatively inexpensive bet as well.

CAPS All-Star DarthMaul09 sums up the macro-based bull case:

An average miner that has found itself in a metals and commodity rally that will help support its pricing power and profits. Although the stock is near the high end of its trading range, the various central banks appear ready to create a new higher price level for commodities and precious metals, which will not be matched by service related industries or wages. The slight advantage of commodities over the index will likely grow if additional US quantitative easing becomes a reality.

What do you think about Hecla, 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 doesn't own a position in any of the companies mentioned. 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 Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.