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

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

Raytheon facts

Headquarters (founded) Waltham, Mass. (1922)
Market Cap $18.66 billion
Industry Aerospace and defense
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $25.18 billion

Chairman/CEO William Swanson

CFO David Wajsgras

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 18.3%
Cash/Debt $3.64 billion / $3.61 billion
Dividend Yield 2.9%

Boeing (NYSE: BA)

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD)

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 1,317 members who have rated Raytheon believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include leembass and KnockoutMouse.

Late last month, leembass highlighted Raytheon's solid fundamentals: "It has a low price/book ratio and it has enough cash on hand to cover all of its debt. This stock also has maintained good earnings growth for the last 10 years. I think this stock is a good value and has an excellent margin of safety."

Currently, Raytheon sports a paltry price-to-cash flow ratio of 9.2. That's a discount to rivals Boeing (10.6), Lockheed (11.0), and General Dynamics (9.9), as well as other defense stocks like Goodrich (NYSE: GR) (16.0) and Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) (15.6).

CAPS member KnockoutMouse elaborates on the bull case:

Many analysts think that defense budgets will shrink with Obama and the US deficit problems, but history shows how wrong that opinion is. Military spending in the past most clearly reflects the global potential for conflict and has had little to do with the internal politics of the US.

Food, energy and water are becoming scarcer, destabilizing governments around the globe. ... I hate to say it, but the potential for conflict will only increase in the future.

Raytheon has already established itself as our chief supplier of missiles and battlefield electronics. With its purchase of Applied Signal it has positioned itself as the lead company in cyber warfare and signals intelligence.

What do you think about Raytheon, 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. The Fool owns shares of Raytheon, Lockheed, and General Dynamics. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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