BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Many individual investors have made it clear they're no longer interested in stocks, as they're stampeding out of the market directly or via mutual fund redemptions in favor of the relative safety of U.S. bonds.
But that may be short-sighted, because for those willing to do homework and take on some risk, the rewards are there.
With a conservative bent in mind, I screened Morningstar's database for the 10 top-performing U.S. stocks this year with a three-year track record of relatively steady appreciation belonging to companies with market values of at least $10 billion and solid fundamentals.Their returns this year range from the 57% of corporate information-data-services provider Teradata (TDC), to 149% for drug designer and manufacturer Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN). Four of the 10 have more than doubled this year. There is seemingly no common denominator to their success as they are an eclectic bunch and include a paint maker, a retail clothing chain, two drug makers, two financial companies, a telecommunications firm and three technology firms, including the world's most valuable company ever, Apple (AAPL), given its $621 billion market value as of yesterday. Surely these companies are benefiting from investors' efforts to avoid European exposure, given the ongoing sovereign debt problems there, and minimize risk by going with a proven, large-cap winner. But given the run-up in their shares, some may now expect that most have sky-high valuations and not much room left to run. But, apparently, that's not the case, as analysts remain bullish on most of them. Apple, for example, has 34 "buy" ratings from analysts, and Regeneron, despite its 149% return, still garners eight "buys" from the 18 analysts that follow it, while three of the companies on this list have 10 analysts' "buy" ratings on them. And to sweeten their appeal, several of these companies pay dividends, led by computer hard-disk maker Seagate Technology's (STX) 3.59%. Here are summaries of the 10 top-performing U.S. large-cap stocks this year, in inverse order of their year-to-date return:
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- 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 + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV