This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

10 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks of 2011

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Ten companies on the benchmark S&P 500 Index have gained as much as 61% this year as the third quarter played host to a tumultuous 2011 for the stock market.

Half of the companies are in the health-care industry, and two are in the aerospace and defense industry.

Companies in the S&P 500 have been battered and bruised because of the still-evolving sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the growing threat of a double-dip recession in the U.S. The dysfunction of the U.S. political system hasn't exactly helped.

The index, which tracks the performance of the 500 largest U.S. stocks and is used as a benchmark for the overall health of the U.S. equities market, is down 6.5% so far this year, with most of the decline occurring in the past two months. So the performance of these 10 companies and their shares is noteworthy because it indicates they may outperform as there's little evidence of a big improvement in global economies.

The following is a snapshot of the 10 top-performing stocks in the S&P 500 this year, ranked by total return. Share prices are as of Sept. 26 and returns as of Sept. 23.

10. Watson Pharmaceutical (WPI)

Company Profile: Watson is the world's fourth-largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer and it also operates a branded pharmaceutical division.

2011 Total Return: 37%

Current Share Price: $70.88

S&P analysts have an $80 price target on its shares. It has a market value of $9.5 billion.

The company is expected to get a big boost in November when Pfizer's (PFE) long-time best-seller Lipitor goes off patent and Watson can begin producing a generic version of it.

S&P projects Watson's revenue will grow 25% in 2011 to $4.5 billion.

Analysts' consensus earnings estimate for this year is $4.45 and that is expected to grow by 28% to $5.70 in fiscal 2012.

Analysts give its shares seven "strong buy" ratings, three "moderate buys," and 10 "holds," according to TheStreet Ratings.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

1 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,156.85 +24.88 0.15%
S&P 500 2,001.57 +2.59 0.13%
NASDAQ 4,562.1890 +9.43 0.21%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs