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Since the beginning of the year, more top-performing CAPS members have been coming to the bullish side of Energy XXI (NASDAQ:EXXI) to recently upgrade it from the lowly two-star rank it held for months to a more formidable four stars. A total of 94 members have now weighed in on Energy XXI, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

Energy XXI executes a growth strategy of "acquiring and exploiting" oil and gas properties and CAPS members like how the strategy has been working lately. While Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) may be making an exit from the Gulf of Mexico, Energy XXI is looking to double up on some properties it already owns in the region with its recent agreement to buy stakes in oil fields from Japan's Mitsui & Co. The move is expected to boost production by 43% and create immediate synergies, and investors like the potential upside coupled with additional exploration fueling organic growth.

The company conducts most of its operations in the Gulf of Mexico, where others like BP (NYSE:BP), Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) are simply gushing over new prospects, and CAPS members are looking forward to the potential of its 15.8% stake in a big prize it has with partner and recent share-diluter McMoRan Exploration (NYSE:MMR). The ultra-deep water project that was once abandoned by ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), could end up yielding big reserves for Energy XXI and its other partners.

Do you think Energy XXI deserves its vaulted 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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For his New Year's resolution, Fool contributor Dave Mock plans to upgrade his culinary skills beyond mac 'n' cheese and Ramen noodles. He owns shares of ExxonMobil. The Fool's disclosure policy knits one and pearls two.