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20 Mid-Cap Stocks To Pop

It's the basic question when investing in a stock: is it on the way up or down?

To answer this question, Wall Street has developed numerous ways of attempting to predict what will happen, estimating various attributes tied to stock performance in order to determine what the future holds for a company's valuation.

Each quarter near the end of the earnings season, CNBC's Analytics team publishes a list of 20 stocks in the S&P 500trading at the greatest premiums or discounts to their analysts’ consensus target prices.

The current list, by comparison, looks solely at companies contained in the S&P 400 MidCap Index, a benchmark of mid-sized companies, which represent 7 percent of the U.S. equity market. The market capitalization of these companies ranges from $1 billion to $4.4 billion and the risk/reward profiles can vary greatly from both large and small-cap companies.

Mid-cap stocks listed on the index are chosen by Standard and Poor’s based upon several criteria, including financial viability, public float, liquidity and other factors outlined here.

With data from Capital IQ, we dissected the data and looked at which stocks in the S&P 400 MidCap Index have mean consensus analyst estimates farthest above their current stock prices (as of the market close on June 22, 2011). As always, keep in mind that screens such as this are a starting point for investing ideas and before investing in any stock, proper research should be done.

So, which mid-cap stocks do analysts predict will have the biggest pop? Click ahead to find out!

By Giovanny Moreano & Paul ToscanoPosted 23 June 2011

Photo: Getty Images