Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to unearth killer stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. There aren't many stocks investors cite as golden opportunities today, but many think major miner Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) is one of them.

In our Motley Fool CAPS community, about 94% of the 1,896 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why Barrick Gold will thrive, three of which I've highlighted below.

But here at The Motley Fool, we're all for looking at both the good and bad sides of an investment. Once you're done with this article, you can read the case against the stock, weigh in with your own comments below, or rate Barrick Gold yourself in CAPS.

1. Strong earnings
The rise in prices of gold and other commodities has helped Barrick, other gold producers like IAMGOLD (NYSE: IAG), and miners like Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) and Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE) generate stronger top-line numbers recently. And Barrick was able to convert that top-line growth into record fourth-quarter earnings as well. The strong operational discipline has some CAPS members bullish on the direction the company is headed.         

2. Rid of the hedge book
While producers like Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), Goldcorp (NYSE: GG), and Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) have already taken unhedged positions, Barrick Gold decided to get rid of its gold hedges last year. Some investors see the move as an indication of Barrick's bullish stance on long-term gold prices and like the upside potential it provides in a scenario of rising gold prices -- a scenario many predict is likely with the rate of U.S. government spending.              

3. Huge reserves
With Barrick holding a massive amount of gold reserves that has grown for the past four consecutive years, investors like the amount of value that the company has yet to unleash. Barrick expects increasing gold production this year and looks for lower total cash costs coming from new production from lower-cost mines like Cortez Hills. And with its reserves now all unhedged, many CAPS members believe the odds of holding a market-beating investment in Barrick Gold are pretty strong.   

To see details of what CAPS members are saying now about Barrick Gold, just click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and have a look -- or add your own thoughts in the comments box below.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service looks for companies with strong management poised to beat the market over the long haul. To see all the stocks that have helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 55 points on average, take a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Dave Mock has more than three reasons why he doesn't bet on the craps table anymore. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. The Fool's disclosure policy limits its carbohydrate consumption every day to keep it at peak energy.