(Story updated to add that Zynga has filed for a secondary stock offering of up to $400 million.)
BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- There are a handful of small, actively managed mutual funds holding little more than a dozen or so stocks boasting returns north of 22% this year, or more than double the return of the benchmark S&P 500 Index.
Their secret? Old-fashioned stock picking of lesser-known or undervalued companies.
Take, for example, the $20 million Biondo Focus Investor Fund (BFONX). It's up 37% this year, with a portfolio made up of 13 stocks.Biondo Focus has a couple of well-known large-caps carrying the load, including everybody's favorite pick, iPhone and iPad maker Apple (AAPL), and the turnaround stock of the year, Bank of America (BAC). It also has some under-the-radar stocks. Its latest addition is Nuance Communications (NUAN - Get Report), a maker of speech-recognition software. Then there's the $36 million Berkshire Focus Fund (BFOCX), up 25% this year. It, too, has big gains on large-cap stocks such as Apple and Internet travel site Priceline.com (PCLN). The fund initiated new positions in CommVault Systems (CVLT), Rackspace Hosting (RAX - Get Report) and Zynga (ZNGA - Get Report) in the past quarter or so. Those stocks posted double-digit returns this year (and are discussed in detail below). Once-revered fund manager Bill Miller's $1 billion Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity Fund (LMOPX ), up 25% this year after losing 35% in 2011, started stakes in NXP Semiconductor (NXPI) and E*Trade Financial (ETFC), which have performed strongly this year. But small-cap stocks aren't the only focus of smaller funds. With a tilt toward large-caps, the $130 million SunAmerica Focused Growth Fund ( SSAAX ), up 21% this year, made a big bet on the biopharmaceutical drug firm Celgene (CELG - Get Report) late last year. It also initiated a stake in online broker Charles Schwab (SCHW). I screened the Morningstar database for small, actively managed equity funds with returns of at least 20% this year to find some of their newest, top-performing stocks. (Note that the average domestic stock fund is up 12.1%, on average, in 2012.) Here are summaries of 10 stocks that those funds are buying in inverse order of returns this year: