Investors seeking to maximize their mid-cap allocations should add 2U (TWOU) , Taser (TASR) , Steris (STE) and LKQ Corp. (LKQ) to their portfolios, said Lamar Villere, portfolio manager for the Villere Balanced Fund (VILLX) . Shares of cloud-based education software provider 2U Inc. are up 30% year-to-date, perhaps helped along by a short squeeze as nearly a quarter of the company's float has been sold short. Villere said the doubters should do an abrupt about-face because the company has been expanding its links to major universities nationwide. Villere is also bullish on Taser which is up 35% year to-date, but has fallen 30% in the past week after the New York Police Department (NYPD) awarded a body camera contract expected to be worth approximately $6.4 million to a competitor. Steris, down 4% year-to-date, is another one of Villere's top picks. Villere said the infection prevention provider is a leader in helping hospitals reduce the $45 billion spent each year due to infections. Finally, Villere is a fan of LKQ Corp., up 12% thus far in 2016. This week the auto parts distributor announced that its United Kingdom subsidiary, Euro Car Parts, acquired the assets of Andrew Page Limited, a distributor of parts in the United Kingdom.
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