The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( Insider Monkey) -- Insider Monkey tracks nearly 400 long/short equity hedge funds. A small proportion of these fund managers had amazing stock picks that returned an average of at least 30% during the first quarter. King Street Capital's Brian Higgins was the best performing fund manager in the first quarter (see the list of best hedge fund managers in the quarter). We should note that we only took into account a hedge fund's large-cap stock picks. We excluded options and convertible bond positions. The S&P 500 index returned less than 13% during the first quarter including the dividends. So, how did these fund managers manage to beat the market by at least 17 percentage points? Below you can find the list of top stock picks of these best performing fund managers. Sears ( SHLD) was a top pick for Eddie Lampert, Bruce Berkowitz and Francis Chou. The stock returned 108% during the first quarter.