Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, dry-bulk shipper Excel Maritime Carriers (NYSE: EXM) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Excel facts

Headquarters (Founded) Athens, Greece (1988)
Market Cap $358.6 million
Industry Marine
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $423.34 million

Chairman/CEO Gabriel Panayotides

CFO Pavlos Kanellopoulos

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 11.6%
Cash/Debt $65.9 million / $1.15 billion

Diana Shipping (NYSE: DSX)

DryShips (Nasdaq: DRYS)

Eagle Bulk Shipping (Nasdaq: EGLE)

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

On CAPS, 96.5% of the 2,106 members who have rated Excel believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include abglos and sniggity.

Just two weeks ago, abglos noted that Excel "will never become a monopoly in it's industry, but the fundamentals call it a steal at this price." Our CAPS member concludes: "It should gain enough for a decent profit when the rest of the world realizes this dog is not really as mangy as it looks."

In fact, Excel currently trades at a particularly paltry price-to-book of 0.2. That represents a clear discount to rivals Diana Shipping (0.8), DryShips (0.5), and Eagle Bulk (0.4).

CAPS member sniggity expands on the outperform argument:

Dry bulk stocks have taken a beating due to speculation over excess supply of capesize vessels. However, [Excel] derives about 40% of its revenue from long-term profitable contracts with clients, the first of which will not expire until 2013. This will not stop earnings from diminishing, but will insulate the company against the decreased demand for shipping that is materially affecting its competitors.

What do you think about Excel, 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. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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