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3 Top Funds' Best Stock Picks Crush S&P 500

Stocks in this article: VRX GILD AMGN VRTX BMRN WBMD WLP

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T. Rowe Price Health Sciences Fund (PRHSX), a $3 billion fund with a portfolio of 158 stocks, is up 19% this year and 43.5% over the past 12 months. The diverse fund has only 27% of its assets in its top 10 holdings and the annual portfolio turnover is a slim 36%. The fund favors small- and mid-cap stocks.

Kris Jenner has been the manager since 2000.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), the top holding at 6.4% of the fund, is up 15% this year. The company focuses on the development and marketing of drugs for life-threatening medical conditions. Mutual funds own 59% of its shares.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX), up 75% this year, makes up 3.6% of the fund. The Canadian company, composed of the former pharmaceutical firms Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Biovail International, licenses and develops specialty drugs in the neurology and dermatology category. It sells more than 100 branded products.

Gilead Sciences (GILD), 3% of the portfolio, is up 12.9% this year. The company develops and markets therapies to treat life-threatening infectious diseases.

The $1.2 billion Fidelity Select Biotechnology Fund (FBIOX) has a return of 18.6% this year and 37% over the past 12 months. The 95-stock fund has been managed by Rajiv Kaul since October 2005. The annual portfolio turnover is relatively high, at 119%, and 57% of its assets are concentrated in the top 10 positions.

Its top holding is the biotechnology giant Amgen (AMGN), which at 18.4% of the fund, is more than double the allocation of the next largest stock. Amgen has risen 9% this year. The company is a leader in biotechnology-based human therapeutics, with expertise in renal disease and cancer-care products.

Alexion Pharmaceutical (ALXN) is the second-largest holding, at 6.7% of fund's assets.

Vertex Pharmaceutical (VRTX), 6.5% of the fund, is up 58.6% this year. It is a developer of small-molecule drugs for the treatment of life-threatening diseases. It is close to commercializing telaprevir, a hepatitis-C treatment in late-stage development with the potential to achieve blockbuster status, according to Morningstar analysts.

The fourth-largest position is Biomarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN), at 4.5% of the fund. The company, which is building a portfolio of genetic disease therapeutics, many used in the treatment or rare diseases, is up 2% this year.

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