Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, specialty chemical company Hawkins (Nasdaq: HWKN) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Hawkins facts

Headquarters (founded) Minneapolis (1938)
Market Cap $459 million
Industry Commodity chemicals
Revenue $273.59 million
Management CEO Patrick Hawkins (since March 2011)
CFO Kathleen Pepski (since February 2008)
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 20.3%
Cash/Debt $63.24 million / $0
Dividend Yield 1.4%

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

On CAPS, 97% of the 269 members who have rated Hawkins believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Star GunnarVagotis, who is ranked in the top 6% of our community, and toshimelonhead.

Earlier this year, GunnarVagotis highlighted Hawkins as a stock worth following: "Small cap chemical company that is weathering a beat-down. This may not be your entry point, but it should go in your watchlist."

Hawkins even boasts a healthy three-year average operating margin of 13.3%. That's higher than that of much larger chemical plays such as Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW) (4.7%), DuPont (NYSE: DD) (10.8%), and Ashland (NYSE: ASH) (5.1%).

CAPS member toshilemonhead expands on the outperform argument:

I think we have a winner here. Hawkins is a Minnesota-based company selling specialty based chemicals. Earnings have been growing 32 percent over the long term. Analyst's estimates seem spotty here because it is not well followed. No debt and lots of cash makes this one a keeper.

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