Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NYSE: NVS) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Novartis facts

Headquarters (Founded) Basel, Switzerland (1895)
Market Cap $137 billion
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $58.8 billion
Management CEO Joseph Jimenez
CFO Jonathan Symonds
Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 15.7%
Cash/Debt $5.6 billion / $23.9 billion
Dividend Yield 4.1%
Competitors Merck (NYSE: MRK)
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 97% of the 1,522 members who have rated Novartis believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Stars clayman14 and starbucks4ever, both of whom are ranked in the top 10% of our community.    

A few months ago, clayman14 succinctly summed up the Novartis bull case: "Swiss Compan[y] + Decent Yield + Pharma."

Over the past five years, Novartis has even grown its bottom line at a solid rate of 8% annually. That's faster than other drug behemoths like Merck (-4%), Pfizer (-2%), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (1%).

CAPS All-Star starbucks4ever expands on the Novartis outperform argument:

A reasonably safe bet. [M]anagement is finished destroying value through acquisitions. ... That leaves us with a low [price-to-earnings multiple], and with speculators assuming … that with no more empire building the [earnings] will finally accrue to them. This illusion will put a floor under the price, especially when the [earnings are] stable and speculators are desperately looking for stability.

What do you think about Novartis, 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!

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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.