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(Story updated to add that Zynga has filed for a secondary stock offering of up to $400 million.)
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
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
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: