4. Bank of America ( BAC)

Company profile: Bank of America Bank of America is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, with lending operations in the consumer, small business, and corporate arenas as well as asset management and investment banking divisions. It posted net income of $85 million, or 1 cent per share, for 2011, in line with analysts' expectations. Bank of America has assets of $2.1 trillion. It's a top holding of the Fairholme fund.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 44% this year and now trading at $8.13 per share. The three-year, average annual return ois 11.5%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," 21 "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. In 2012, analysts estimate it will earn 72 cents per share, and that will grow by 56% to $1.12 per share in 2013. Shares of BAC were among the top performers this morning on news that it fared well in the federal stress tests for determining adequate capital reserves in the event of a serious economic downturn. The stress test results indicate that BAC has excess capital equivalent to about $1.10 per share, giving it room to pay a dividend or make share repurchases in 2013 if current operating trends continue, according to Wells Fargo analyst Matt Burnell, in a research note today.

3. Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD)

Company profile: Advanced Micro Devices, with a market value of $5.4 billion, designs and produces microprocessors and low-power processor solutions for the computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 39% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 46%. Analysts give its shares 10 "buy" ratings, two "buy/holds," 16 "holds," four "weak holds," and two "sells," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. The company is expected to earn 64 cents per share this year, and 77 cents next year, a 20% rise.

2. Dell ( DELL)

Company profile: Dell, with a market value of $30 billion, is a manufacturer and direct seller of notebook computers, desktop computers, software and other peripheral equipment. It's also building a retail store presence.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 16% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 22%. Analysts give its shares 11"buy" ratings, four "buy/holds," 15 "holds," two "weak holds," and two "sells," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. For fiscal year 2012, analysts estimate it will earn $2.14 per share, but that they will shrink to $2.12 in 2013.

1. Thermo Fisher Scientific ( TMO)

Company profile: Thermo Fisher, with a market value of $21 billion, sells scientific instruments and laboratory equipment.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 23% this year, after losing 19% last year, but have a three-year, average annual return of 18%. Analysts give its shares 14 "buy" ratings, five "buy/holds," and three "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.

>>To see these stocks in action, visit the 8 Stocks That Turned Losers Into Leaders portfolio on Stockpickr.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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