Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, medical device giant Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

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

Baxter facts

Headquarters (founded)

Deerfield, Ill. (1931)

Market Cap

$33.86 billion


Health care equipment

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$13.2 billion


Chairman/CEO Robert Parkinson Jr. (since 2004)

CFO Robert Hombach (since 2010)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$2.17 billion / $4.38 billion

Dividend Yield


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

On CAPS, 95% of the 660 members who have rated Baxter believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include frankinCA and CottonSwab.

Late last year , frankinCA touched on the trends working in Baxter's favor: "It is another beneficiary of the healthcare and is a low cost provider of hospital IV products that are essential."

Currently, Baxter even sports a cheapish forward P/E of 12.7. That represents a slight discount to other medical device stocks such as Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX) (14.3), Covidien (NYSE: COV) (13.3), and Stryker (NYSE: SYK) (15.4).

CAPS member CottonSwab elaborates on the bull case:

Baxter is a provider of products and services that are "medically necessary" for many different types of patients. In many of these sectors, Baxter is an industry leader.

I expect long term sales growth and margins to remain fairly steady over the long term as Baxter expands in emerging markets where medical service has been non-existent or outdated. In many emerging economies, health care appears to lag industrial production.

Therefore, I think Baxter offers little downside and moderate upside.

What do you think about Baxter, 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 Dickinson, Covidien, and Stryker are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. 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.