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20 Stocks With The Potential To Pop

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

To answer this question, the 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.

After dissecting the data, analysts following a particular stock produce a price target of where they believe the stock is headed. With data from Thomson Reuters, CNBC.com took a look at which stocks in the S&P 500 have average consensus estimates farthest above their stock prices.

According to the latest data, about 139 stocks or 28 percent of the index constituents are expected to go up in value by 20 percent or more. And only about 61 companies have already met or surpassed their respective price target estimates. The prices and analyst estimates presented here are as of the market close on 5/25/11.

So, which stocks are analysts expecting to have the biggest pops? Click ahead to find out!

By Giovanny Moreano & Paul Toscano
Posted 25 May 2011

Photo: John W Banagan | Getty Images