Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, clinical research specialist ICON (Nasdaq: ICLR) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

ICON facts

Headquarters (founded) Dublin (1990)
Market Cap $1.5 billion
Industry Medical labs and research
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $910.2 million
Management

CEO Peter Gray (since 2002)

CFO Ciaran Murray (since 2005)

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years) 15.9%
Cash/Debt $231.8 million / $0
Competitors

Covance (NYSE: CVD)

Kendle International (Nasdaq: KNDL)

Pharmaceutical Product Development (Nasdaq: PPDI)

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

On CAPS, 98% of the 376 members who have rated ICON believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Star GundersonGroup, who is ranked in the top 10% of our community, and RENNOTA.

Earlier this year, GundersonGroup tapped ICON as a solid selection: "This company has quietly built its revenue, cash flow, book value and customer base over the past 10+ years. ... They have proven they are legitimate and have survived in environments that have destroyed many wonder-kid creations."

In fact, ICON's three-year average return on equity of 15.9% tops that of listed rivals Covance (11.3%), Kendle (5%), and Pharmaceutical Product Development (12.5%).

CAPS member RENNOTA elaborates on the ICON bull case:

This company produces some pretty impressive margins, while still maintaining a very healthy balance sheet. The firm also sticks to its core competencies beautifully, indicating a disciplined, intelligent management.

I also like this stock because, in addition to currently looking attractive, it incorporates a larger, macro play. It stands to grow revenue as pharmaceutical companies increasingly outsource their testing operations in an effort to cut costs. I think this stock appears poised to outperform the broad market index.

What do you think about ICON, 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. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended Pharmaceutical Product Development. 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.