BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Some investors have unleashed a backlash in response to sell-side analysts' recently released annual top picks and so-called best ideas for 2011.

Although interesting ideas are present in the lists of banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, critics point out that the best-performing stocks are often found at the bottom of the barrel, receiving the worst ratings from analysts.

That rationale makes sense, on some level: When a stock is adored by researchers, there is goodwill and lofty expectations baked into its price, so it's more difficult to outperform. On the other hand, when a stock is universally panned, hurdles are low and even slight improvement can ignite a rally.

With this notion in mind, here are the 30th to 11th worst-rated S&P 500 stocks for 2011.

30. Cintas ( CTAS)
29. AK Steel ( AKS)
28. Assurant ( AIZ)
27. Consolidated Edison ( ED)
26. Campbell Soup ( CPB)
25. Paychex ( PAYX)
24. Total System Services ( TSS)
23. FirstEnergy ( FE)
22. AutoNation ( AN)
21. Netflix ( NFLX)
20. National Semiconductor ( NSM)
19. Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD)
18. KeyCorp ( KEY)
17. Vulcan Materials ( VMC)
16. Sunoco ( SUN)
15. Regions Financial ( RF)
14. Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK)
13. Brown Forman ( BF)
12. Diamond Offshore ( DO)
11. Safeway ( SWY)

Now, here is a closer look at the 10 worst-rated S&P 500 stocks for 2011.

10. Federated Investors ( FII) is an investment-management company.

Its revenue has declined 3.9% annually, on average, since 2008. Its stock suffered annualized declines of 15% over that span. In the latest quarter, revenue fell 18% and earnings per share decreased 25%. But, Federated's stock offers a dividend yield of 3.6% and may benefit from continued outperformance of equity markets. It sells for a forward earnings multiple of 15 and a cash flow multiple of 11, 24% and 10% peer discounts. Macquarie offers a target of $30.

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