9. Rio Tinto (RIO) is a global metal and mining giant, specializing in aluminum, copper, coal and iron ore. The company operates in more than 50 countries with bulk production coming from Australia and North America.
For the fourth quarter, global iron ore operations set a new a new annual record at 239 million tonnes and a quarterly production record of 65 million tonnes. However, mined and refined copper production slumped during the quarter. The company delivered earnings of $14 billion during 2010, 122% above 2009.
Rio Tinto recently announced that it has acquired a majority interest in Riversdale Mining, securing more 50% shares. The company approved capital projects worth $5.5 billion during the fourth quarter, bringing full year project approvals to $10.8 billion. The stock is trading at 7.7 times its 2011 earnings and has gained 22% during the last one year.