However hard the market slams a stock, there's always the chance it'll come bouncing right back. We'll consult our Motley Fool CAPS community to find shares on the rebound, examining one specific sector of the economy in search of companies with rising CAPS ratings.          

Among the 159 stocks listed under “utilities” in the CAPS' screener, we've unearthed more than a few with five-star ratings. Those accolades mean our 150,000 CAPS members are confident that these stocks will beat the market in the months ahead, but let's see what members are saying about the five below:


CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Recent Price

Price Change

Est. 5-Year
Growth Rate






CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP)





Otter Tail (NASDAQ:OTTR)










Companhia de Saneamento Basico





Sources: Motley Fool CAPS; Yahoo! Finance.

The broader market averages have staged a pretty bold recovery until recently, and utilities have recovered fairly well, too. The average company is up more than 27% from a year ago, including a bunch of winners like A-Power Energy (NASDAQ:APWR) and Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE), both of which more than doubled.

So let's take a closer look at why investors think that some of these other companies won't be jumping from the frying pan into the fire from the market's lofty heights.

Some spring in its step
Despite slack demand thanks to a weakened economy, PPL posted a 13% gain in earnings from continuing operations and reaffirmed its 2010 earnings guidance. In the latest quarter, the company was hurt by its economic hedging activity, which cost it $0.12 per share. That's set to change this year, though, as PPL is expecting strong growth in energy margins because of hedges.

The CAPS community is also expecting better results, giving the company a big upgrade to a four-star rating after it spent months stuck at a middling three-star rank. There are almost 270 members giving their opinion on the energy utility; one of them, WiZlonex, expressed faith in the ability of management to move it forward. Join us on the PPL CAPS page to build on the consensus on future growth.

The wind at its back
A number of companies are compared to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A), some more rightly so than others. One that fits in the former camp is Otter Tail, a conglomerate made up of assets in electricity generation, plastics, manufacturing, medical equipment, and food processing. It's much smaller than the Oracle's investment vehicle, but it has spread itself over a broad cross section of the economy and thus minimized the impact of the recession on its bottom line.

The area that's gotten the most attention lately is its wind-power division. CAPS member teentradeproject is looking at Otter's DMI wind subsidiary to do well soon:

Wind is the new oil and Otter Tail's Berksire like ownership of DMI is looking like a lot of wind, revenue, straight up cash, and a great investment.

More than 1,000 members have joined together to generate Otter Tail's five-star rating, and 98% look for it to outperform the market. You can hightail it over to the Otter Tail CAPS page to process your own opinion on whether it’s really a mini-Berkshire or just another pretender.

The ball's in your court
There are many factors that go into whether a stock is a buy or sell, so it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page. Head over to CAPS today and share your thoughts with other investor analysts on whether you think these stocks are ready to bound higher.

Otter Tail is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Companhia de Saneamento Basico is an Income Investor pick. Berkshire Hathaway is an Inside Value pick and a Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.