Second Quarter Ultra Fund Families

NEW YORK ( TheStreet Ratings) -- TheStreet.com Ratings ranked 14,404 open-end stock mutual funds offered by 465 different fund families on the basis of risk-adjusted return for our Summer 2012 Guide to Stock Mutual Funds. The top 30% of funds with grades of B+ or better are considered to be 'Buys', the middle 40% 'Holds' have grade in the C range, and the lower 30% 'Sells' have grades of D+ or worse.

The fund families placing a higher percentage of their funds in the top 30% of our year-end rankings than their peers are considered to be 'Ultra' fund families. Peer groups include fund families with 100 or more rated funds, 40 to 99 rated funds, 10 to 39 rated funds, and 1 to 9 rated funds.

The 'Ultra' fund family winner in the 100 plus group is Vanguard Funds. Vanguard finished the quarter with 137 of its 237 rated funds in the 'buy' range of B+ or better.

See the list of the top rated Vanguard funds in our Ratings Research Center. The list includes A+ rated funds such as Vanguard Consumer Stap Index Adm ( VCSAX) and Vanguard Health Care Inv ( VGHCX).

T. Rowe Price Funds, a unit of T. Rowe Price Group ( TROW) placed 58 of its 124 rated funds in the top 30% of TheStreet Ratings ranking of open-end stock mutual funds. So, T. Rowe Price is the runner-up 'Ultra' fund family among families with 100 or more rated funds.

See the list of the top rated T. Rowe Price funds in our Ratings Research Center. The list includes A rated funds such as T Rowe Price Health Sciences ( PRHSX) and T Rowe Price Equity Index 500 ( PREIX).

T. Rowe Price and Vanguard swapped their positions as the top two fund families ranked last quarter as listed in TheStreet Ratings 2012 First Quarter Ultra Fund Families article.

HighMark Funds moved up from the runner-up spot last quarter to top the 'Ultra' fund family list of large groups with 40 to 99 rated funds. HighMark placed 60.8% of their 51 rated funds in the top 30% of our rankings.

TIAA-CREF Funds is the runner-up with 58.2% of its 67 rated funds on ranked at 'Buy'. Delaware Investments held onto third place improving to 51.7% of its 89 rated funds in the top rank.

While none of these three families have their own top rated funds page, you can still view a find a list of their funds in our mutual fund screener. For example, click on the "FUNDS" tab. Select "HighMark Funds" from the "Fund Family" drop-down menu. Then drag the lower bound "Overall Rating" slider to the left so that only funds rated in the green range from A+ down to B- are shown including A+ rated HighMark Equity Income A ( NJPAX).

The smaller 'Ultra' fund family list of groups with 10 to 39 rated funds is led again by Hotchkis & Wiley Funds with 13 of their 17 rated funds in the top 30% of our rankings. The Hotchkis & Wiley Value Opportunities A ( HWAAX) earned an 'Excellent' rating of "B+" for the period ending June 30, 2012.

The State Street moved up to second place with 69.2% of their 13 rated funds in the 'buy' range including A rated State Street Equity 500 Index A ( STFAX).

California Investment Trust grabbed third place with eight of 12 fund ranked as top rated. This earns an honorable mention with A+ rated funds such as the NASDAQ-100 Index Direct ( NASDX).

Of the fund families with less than 10 rated funds, the 'Ultra' fund family winner is Weitz Series with all five of their stock funds ranked at 'buy' including the A+ rated Weitz Series-Hickory Fund ( WEHIX).

Two fund families tied for second place with all three of their funds ranked in the top 30%. PRIMECAP Odyssey Agg Growth Fd ( POAGX) is the highest rated fund from PRIMECAP Odyssey Funds at B+. Lateef I ( LIMIX) is the highest rated fund from Lateef Funds at "A".

Research Methodology

TheStreet.com Ratings condenses the available fund performance and risk data into a single composite opinion of each fund's risk-adjusted performance. This allows the unbiased identification of those funds that have historically done well and those that have underperformed the market.

While there is no guarantee of future performance, these Investment Ratings provide a solid framework for making informed, timely investment decisions. In order to qualify for a rating, an open-end fund must either have three years of risk and return data or be an additional share class of an existing fund with at least three years of performance statistics. Some related fund families of the same parent company have been grouped together.

Funds rated A or B are considered "Buy" rated based on a track record of higher than average risk-adjusted performance. Funds at the C level are rated as "Hold," while underperformers at the D and E levels our model ranks as "Sell."

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

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