Every day, the sun rises on Wall Street, and a plethora of professional analysts wake to issue new opinions on stocks. Here at the Fool, we use our "This Just In" column to examine some of these picks -- and the track records of the companies behind them -- so individuals can make better investing decisions.

In addition to following professional banks, anyone can use Motley Fool CAPS to monitor the collective opinions of more than 140,000 members, many of whom demonstrate better investing insight than published analysts do.

After spending most of the past six months at a less-than-enviable three-star rank, enough top-performing CAPS members have turned bullish on Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) recently to upgrade it back to four stars. A total of 290 members have given their opinion on Xcel Energy, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

The recession brought lower electricity demand for utilities like Xcel Energy and a supply glut of thermal coal for producers like Consol Energy (NYSE:CNX) and Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX). But while mixed signals on demand has left many investors puzzled, CAPS members are optimistic about demand going into the winter months, and investors look for Xcel to benefit from increasing long-term power demand. Xcel is one of the largest gas and electric utilities in the U.S., and investors generally like the growth opportunities they see in Xcel's portfolio of renewable energy.

In April the company signed a deal with SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWRA) to build a solar plant in Colorado that will be the second-largest high-efficiency solar PV power plant in North America and part of a fast-growing solar utility market. Xcel also recently received approval from regulators in Minnesota and North Dakota for wind projects that will expand its renewable presence and utilize turbines from General Electric (NYSE:GE). CAPS members like the big potential locked in alternative energy and happily take the two-fer of Xcel's healthy dividend similar to others like Progress Energy (NYSE:PGN) and Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK).

Do you think Xcel Energy deserves its raised status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company and check out all the information and opinions the community offers, absolutely free.

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Duke Energy is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his car seat with a soft and wooly covering in preparation for winter. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers its bath tissue rolled over, not under.