1. Rio Tinto is a global metal and mining player, especially aluminum, copper, coal and iron ore. The company has operations in more than 50 countries with bulk production coming from Australia and North America.
During the second quarter of 2011, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 27%, while net profit increased 30%. The company observed strong demand from Asia, and better pricing boosted finance, although volumes in the first half were lower compared with the corresponding period of 2010.
On the operational front, Tom Albanese, Rio's CEO, said, "We have some of the best quality growth projects in iron ore, copper and coking coal. These projects are on track and, as we finalize our studies for the expansion of our industry-leading Pilbara iron ore operations to 333 Mt/a, we have accelerated the timeline by six months to the first half of 2015. We have secured further growth options in new territories, notably the successful Riversdale acquisition which delivers both thermal and coking coal opportunities in Mozambique, one the world's premier coal basins. We also reached an agreement with the Government of Guinea, paving the way for first shipment of iron ore from Simandou by mid-2015."Rio has increased its share buyback plan by $2 billion to a total $7 billion, and the repurchases are expected to complete by the first quarter of 2012. The stock is trading at 6 times 2011 earnings. On average, analysts expect shares to rise 105% over the next year. >>To see these stocks in action, visit the 6 Large-Cap Stocks to Consider portfolio on Stockpickr.