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After it lost its five-star status and held a four-star rank for much of the past six months, CAPS members have returned Exelon (NYSE:EXC) to its five-star level. A total of 687 members have given their opinion on the utility services company, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the renewed optimism.

Utility stocks like Exelon, Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), and Southern Company (NYSE:SO) usually fare well in bear markets thanks to relatively stable revenue, as customers have little option but to pay their electricity bills. Many investors see a good opportunity to pick up some dividend-paying Exelon shares and other utilities, as the sector has taken a beating with the rest of the market.

Exelon reported a strong fourth quarter, with net income that was up 26% over last year and topped analysts' expectations. The strength keeps the company's confidence up while it continues to push its unsolicited offer on NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) in hopes of creating the nation's largest power company. If it goes through, Exelon could gain some key assets at a great price, including lucrative nuclear power assets.

With all the scrutiny of energy dependence, some investors foresee more spending on nuclear energy in the U.S. And with many more reactors needed to keep nuclear energy on pace to contribute its share of power, uranium producer USEC (NYSE:USU) and companies like Exelon, General Electric (NYSE:GE), and ABB (NYSE:ABB) could see significant benefits from new investments in the area.

To see what the very best CAPS analysts are saying now about Exelon -- as well as other winning stocks they are picking -- head on over to CAPS and have a look. The community research and resources in CAPS are totally free, unlike analyst opinions reserved for paying clients.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his ride from a 4-cylinder to the 6-cylinder it should be with just a tune-up. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Southern and Duke Energy are Income Investor selections. The Fool's disclosure policy regrets eating 32 wieners in 10 minutes at the county fair.