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Enough top-performing CAPS investors have turned bullish on AES (NYSE:AES) recently to upgrade it from its long-held three-star rank to a more admirable four stars, out of five. With 261 investors giving an opinion on AES, there's plenty of analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

Post-Enron, many energy providers such as AES and Dynegy (NYSE:DYN) were thrown out with the bathwater. AES took its share of lumps, but the stock has nearly tripled in the past five years, as the company actually had substance and operating income continued to grow. Intent on keeping the trend going, the company is boldly projecting long-term earnings-per-share (EPS) growth of about 14% to 17% per year.

AES also recently picked up $1.1 billion from the sale of one of its coal-fired power plants in Kazakhstan, and will receive up to $381 million over the next three years to manage the facility. And solar stocks such as First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) aren't the only ones benefiting from the push toward alternative energy sources; AES also has significant efforts to develop green energy sources. While General Electric (NYSE:GE) has a long history of supplying wind turbines in the wind energy market, AES, NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG), and other energy players have announced projects worth more than half a billion dollars to capture wind in the west Texas area.

With many investors finding energy stocks a great place to be during recessions, nearly 93% of the 261 investors rating AES expect it to outperform the market.

To see what the very best CAPS analysts are saying now about AES -- as well as other winning stocks they are picking -- head on over to CAPS and have a look. The community research and resources in CAPS are totally free, unlike analyst opinions reserved for paying clients.

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