As we've hit the halfway point for 2012, now's a good time to look back at what's happening with the stocks that interest you. By making sure you know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.

Today, let's take a look at Cameco (NYSE: CCJ). The uranium miner took a big hit after Japan's nuclear reactor disaster in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami last year, as a backlash of anti-nuclear sentiment hit the industry. But with carbon emissions still a major issue, it's unlikely that most countries will abandon nuclear energy entirely. Let's take a quick look at how the stock is doing so far this year.

Stats on Cameco

2012 YTD Return 22.7%
Market capitalization $8.7 billion
Revenue, Most Recent Quarter $564 million
Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth, Most Recent Quarter 18.9%
Net Income, Most Recent Quarter $132 million
Year-Over-Year Net Income Growth, Most Recent Quarter 40.1%
CAPS Rating (out of 5) ***

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

CCJ Total Return Price Chart

CCJ Total Return Price data by YCharts

How is Cameco bouncing back this year?
Uranium miners had a very hard 2011, as the aftermath of Japan's disasters had a huge impact on the industry. NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) decided to write off almost half a billion dollars in losses on its South Texas Nuclear Development Project, while Germany said it would phase out its nuclear power program entirely in the long term.

As a result, stocks throughout the industry plunged. USEC (NYSE: USU) went from seeing strong demand before the disasters to struggling to get by afterward, as its shares plunged more than 80% last year. Uranerz Energy (NYSE: URZ) and Uranium Energy (NYSE: UEC) both experienced similar declines, and even industry giant Cameco took damage, although less severe than its smaller peers.

But Cameco got a jump-start in February, when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the first new nuclear reactor in the U.S. in 30 years. Although calls of a nuclear renaissance are overblown, the news did make it clear that nuclear energy isn't going away entirely, and demand for uranium will continue well into the future. The real key for Cameco will be China, which agreed last year to a production contract to deliver 29 million pounds of uranium concentrate through 2025. If emerging markets keep needing more energy, Cameco stands to gain.

Cameco may be about to bounce back further, but if you like companies that dig riches out of the earth, we've got another company you really should look at more closely. Read The Motley Fool's latest special report on gold to discover the tiny gold stock digging up massive profits. It's free but only available for a limited time.

Click here to add Cameco to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.