Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, medical instruments specialist Harvard Bioscience (Nasdaq: HBIO) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Harvard Bioscience facts

Headquarters (Founded)

Holliston, Mass. (1901)

Market Cap

$168.6 million

Industry

Life sciences tools and services

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$108.2 million

Management

Chairman/CEO Chane Graziano

CFO Thomas McNaughton

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)

13.6%

Cash/Debt

$19.7 million / $18 million

Competitors

Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX)

Bio-Rad Laboratories (NYSE: BIO)

Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO)

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

On CAPS, 96% of the 143 members who have rated Harvard Bioscience so far believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include Notwage and All-Star JakilaTheHun, who is ranked in the top 0.1% of our community.

Earlier this month , Notwage listed several of Harvard Bioscience's positives:

"Rock solid fundamentals. Great industry with bright growth prospects in healthcare. Great margin of safety. Not covered by analysts. All in all a solid growth pick on sale."

Over the next five years, in fact, Harvard Bioscience is expected to grow its bottom line at a brisk rate of 25% annually. That's much faster than listed rivals Becton (9.9%), Bio-Rad (9.5%), and Thermo Fisher (12.1%).

CAPS All-Star JakilaTheHun elaborates on the Harvard Bioscience bull case:

Very well-run company, with great management, and an excellent track record of success. ROI is at 18% and ROE is at 23%. ... Not "cheap" per se, but about fairly valued right now. I can't claim to know much about this industry, but my green thumb for this one is a bet of management continuing to earn above-market returns on their investments.

What do you think about Harvard Bioscience -- 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. Becton and Thermo Fisher are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.