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!  

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.