Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, European oil and gas giant Total (NYSE: TOT) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Total facts

Headquarters (Founded) Courbevoie, France (1924)
Market Cap $3.4 billion
Industry Integrated oil and gas
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $213.9 billion
Management

Chairman/CEO Christophe de Margerie

CFO Patrick de la Chevardire

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 18.4%
Cash/Debt $27.8 billion / $46 billion
Dividend Yield 5.5%
Competitors

ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)

Chevron (NYSE: CVX)
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP)

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

On CAPS, 98% of the 1,169 members who have rated Total believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include aaachooo and witness1260.

Earlier this year, aaachooo tapped Total as a relatively safe way to go global:

Best in class, value, lumped into the European/French stocks. ... American oil companies are linked to the foreign policies of the government. France is much more neutral and will be able to operate more volatile areas than its American/British counterparts.

Currently, Total even sports a cheapish forward P/E of 7.0. That represents a slight discount to other integrated energy giants like Exxon (9.0), Chevron (8.0), and Conoco (8.5).

CAPS member witness1260 elaborates on the bull case:

Total is not the same company as its rivals. I don't think they're as big or have the same resources. And there's a little more debt than I'd be comfortable with. But I think this is one of the best of the bunch. Nearly all the numbers look better than the industry average, plus there's a solid dividend. Oh, and the margins are strong. Plus, they seem to have surprised everyone by beating estimates last quarter.
They've been slowly expanding and changing to better suit their model. Unlike other big gas companies, they don't seem to be the target of public derision.

What do you think about Total, 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 buying shares of Total and Chevron. 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.