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1st-quarter rebound for top mutual fund managers

The Associated Press

Diversified U.S. stock mutual funds returned more than 12 percent on average in the first three months of the year, the best first-quarter fund performance since 1998. It was a welcome turnaround from 2011, when funds lost nearly 3 percent over the full year, on average.

The rapid market turnaround has produced surprising first-quarter results for mutual fund managers. Several renowned managers are again beating their peers by big margins, after trailing the vast majority last year. Below is a look at the first-quarter comebacks for six top managers. Each is a past winner of Morningstar's fund manager of the year award in his fund category, and four — Bruce Berkowitz, Bill Miller, Bill Gross and David Herro — are past winners of manager of the decade awards.

Manager Fund name and symbol Fund's investment category 1st quarter 2012 return Percentile rank of fund's 1st quarter return vs. peers 2011 full-year return or loss Percentile rank of fund's 2011 return vs. peers
Bruce Berkowitz Fairholme Fund (FAIRX) Large-cap value 31.1% 1st -32.4% 100th
Bill Miller Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity (LMOPX) Mid-cap value 25.5 2nd -34.9 100th
Bill Gross PIMCO Total Return (PTTAX) Intermediate-term bond 2.8 13th 3.7 89th
Brent Lynn Janus Overseas (JDIAX) Foreign large-cap growth 19.9 2nd -32.9 98th
Michael Hasenstab Templeton Global Bond (TPINX) World bond 7 4th -2.4 96th
David Herro Oakmark International (OAKIX) Foreign large-cap value 17 1st -14.1 66th

Source: Morningstar