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'20 Stocks with the Potential to Pop' Outpops the S&P

Each quarter near the end of earnings season, we look at the stocks in the S&P 500 to see which ones are trading at the greatest discounts and premiums to their analysts' consensus target prices. We publish the lists in our 20 Stocks to Pop / Drop series. Now, 3 weeks since we last published the Pops list, here is a check on how the 20 stocks have performed.

Per Thomson Reuters, the source of the consensus data, the mean analyst estimates are typically based on forward 12-month price target estimates. That being said, some of the "20 Stocks to Pop" listed after the close on February 23 (See slideshow here) have gotten an early jump.

18 of the 20 stocks are up in the past three weeks and the entire group is up 8.2%. That compares to the overall S&P 500 which is up 5.1% over the same period. Seven stocks on the list are up over 10% while only six have underperformed relative to the S&P. Could it be that the analysts that were criticized so much during the market's nosedive are back to making some good calls?

The stock that has popped the most so far has been Citigroup, up 18.5% since Feb 23. Here are the 5 biggest gainers from the February list:

  • Citigroup: +18.5% since February 23
  • MEMC Electronic Materials : +17.1% since February 23
  • Micron Tech : +15.8% since February 23
  • El Paso : +13.3% since February 23
  • Amazon : +12.4% since February 23

See the complete Q1 lists of pops and drops:

Check bythenumbers.cnbc.com for future updates and new lists.

Comments? Send them to bythenumbers@cnbc.com