5-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Universal

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Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, tobacco merchant Universal (NYS: UVV) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

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

Universal facts

Headquarters (founded)Richmond, Va. (1888)
Market Cap$1.1 billion
IndustryTobacco
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$2.5 billion
ManagementChairman/CEO George Freeman, III
CFO David Moore
Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)14.1%
Cash/Debt$152.4 million / $541.0 million
Dividend Yield4.2%
CompetitorsAlliance One
Altadis
British American Tobacco

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

On CAPS, 95% of the 200 members who have rated Universal believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Earlier this month, one of those Fools, All-Star Staka, succinctly summed up the opportunity for our community:

Positive:
- Defensive blue chip
- Good dividend
- Solid balance sheet

Negative:
- Risk of being marginalized as the middleman in the tobacco value chain

Of course, despite its five-star rating, Universal may not be your top choice. If that's the case, we've compiled a special free report for investors called "Secure Your Future With 9 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks," which uncovers several other juicy income opportunities. The report is 100% free, but it won't be around forever, so click here to access it now.

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the newTrackPoisedToCAPS account.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. 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.

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