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9 Stocks Giving Mutual Funds a Breakout Year

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Who doesn't like a good comeback story?

Three mutual funds are poised to have a breakout year and move to the top of the standings after dismal performances in 2011, S&P Capital IQ research shows.

In fact, one of them already has.

Dylan Cathers, an S&P Capital IQ mutual fund industry analyst, set some daunting criteria and used a sophisticated screening analysis on his firm's extensive database to come up with these funds.

He began by identifying funds with 2011 performances that put them in the bottom 25% in the multi-cap-core, value and growth categories. Cathers chose "multi-caps" because they are most representative of the market, as they include small- to large-cap stocks.

To trim the field further, Cathers included only retail funds that have been open to investors for at least three years, have over $25 million in assets, and are run by managements with consistent tenure.

This analysis was followed by an extensive portfolio review of funds, using sister firm's Standard & Poor's stock ratings, as well as his own organization's qualitative and fundamental analysis skills.

"I feel comfortable saying: 'OK, they had a bad year, but we think they're well worth taking a look at," Cathers said of the trio of funds profiled in this article.

Here, then, are the three mutual funds that get especially high ratings based on their prospects from S&P Capital IQ, along with three of their top stock holdings:

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