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10 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks of 2011

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7. Biogen Idec (BIIB - Get Report)

Company Profile: Biogen Idec is a biotechnology company, developing drugs for neurological disorders.

2011 Total Return: 35.2%

Current Share Price: $90.67 (Aug. 25)

Approval of a five-year marketing plan for multiple-sclerosis drug Tysabri in Europe and a positive study for Avonex, another MS treatment, have impressed Biogen's investors. Biogen's treatments have been delivering solid sales growth. The stock rocketed higher in April on first-quarter results and again in July on second-quarter earnings and sales, pushing to a 52-week high of $110.

Analysts are calling for upside of nearly 25%, based on an average price target of $114.80. Fourteen analysts, including those at RBC Capital and Oppenheimer, say Biogen is a "buy." Another 10, including Goldman Sachs and R.W. Baird, say investors should sit tight. Only one firm recommends selling shares of Biogen.

6. AutoNation (AN - Get Report)

Company Profile: AutoNation is the largest auto-dealership chain in the U.S. The company offers a range of automotive products and services, including new vehicles, used vehicles, parts and automotive repair and maintenance services, and automotive finance and insurance products.

2011 Total Return: 35.9%

Current Share Price: $38.32 (Aug. 25)

Shares of AutoNation sit near an all-time high, but the stock is actually among the S&P 500 constituents with the largest negative gap between share price and analyst targets. According to a survey by Bloomberg, analysts have an average price target of $32.50, 17% below current levels. Most analysts are neutral or bearish on the stock; AutoNation garners no "buy" ratings from the 14 analysts following the stock.

Despite the dour view of analysts, AutoNation continues to perform. Second-quarter revenue increased nearly 8%, although that fell short of estimates due to shortages from Japanese manufacturers following the tsunami and earthquake.

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AN $61.50 0.00%
BIIB $409.59 0.00%
CMG $664.97 0.00%
COG $29.00 0.00%
LO $68.42 0.00%


DOW 18,132.70 -81.72 -0.45%
S&P 500 2,104.50 -6.24 -0.30%
NASDAQ 4,963.5270 -24.3630 -0.49%

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