NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As 2010 ends, the U.S. economy remains battered and the European debt crisis continues. It was a strong year, however, for Emerging Market Economies - China, India, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia. EMEs are growing in importance; the voting power of these economies at international financial forums widened by 3%-7% in 2010. Furthermore, in 2011, EMEs are likely to have a greater say in UN bodies such as G-20 and APEC. Notably, in 2009, China surpassed the U.S. as the largest automobile market, and Germany as the largest exporter.

Even as China prepares to deploy more monetary weapons to tackle rising inflation, the Shanghai Composite slumped 16.1% during the past year. Brazil's Bovespa edged 0.8% lower. However, India's Nifty rose 16.5% on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones posted 12.9% and 11% increases, respectively.

A few emerging market ADRs generated lucrative returns for investors during the past year. We present 10 such stocks, which gained more than 45% on a year-to-date basis and have a market capitalization of more than $2 billion. The stocks are stacked based on gains, great to greatest.

10. Companhia de Bebidas das Americas - AmBev ( ABV), a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev ( BUD), is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of beer, carbonated soft drinks, and other non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages in 14 countries across the Americas. On a year-to-date basis, the company gained 48.5%, touching 52-week highs in December.

For the third quarter, net sales scaled up 13% year-over-year, driven by an 8.1% rise in total volumes. Operating income was up 12% during the same period. The company announced a 5-for-1 stock split on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, AmBev has a franchise to produce, sell and distribute PepsiCo ( PEP) outside the U.S. The company has also garnered a significant 70% share in the Brazilian beer market. In December, Brazil's Council for Economic Defense approved AmBev's unrestricted use of part of Cerpa do Pará brewery's idle capacity for manufacturing its products during a 12-month period.

For full-year 2010, Zacks' earnings per share estimate stands at $6.79, higher than $6.61 predicted a month ago, and a significant 31% rise from 2009 levels. Meanwhile, 2011 EPS is seen at $7.57, up 12% from the prior year. Moreover, since the company is focused on the domestic markets and is based in an emerging market where growth is skyrocketing, S&P has given a positive outlook for the company's performance in the upcoming quarters. The rating agency adds that AmBev's prudent financial strategies and resilient cash flows will support performance further.

9. CNOOC ( CEO) is an investment holding company engaged in the exploration, development, production and sale of crude oil, natural gas and other petroleum products.

On a year-to-date basis, the company gained 49.9%, touching 52-week highs in December. In comparison, counterparts BP ( BP) lost 23.9%. PetroChina ( PTR) and China Petroleum & Chemical ( SNP) gained 6% and 5.2%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

For the third quarter, net production zoomed 48.8% year-over-year, while revenue surged 63.8%, driven by higher realized oil prices. During October, CNOOC acquired a 33.3% stake in Chesapeake Energy's ( CHK) Eagle Ford project, for $1.08 billion. During December, the company signed a deal with the Brisbane-based oil and gas exploration company, Exoma Energy, for selling a 50% interest in its gas exploration permits in Queensland's Galilee Basin. CNOOC also has the option to acquire 86.6 million ordinary Exoma shares at 31.1 cents per share and an additional option to acquire ordinary shares, expiring Dec. 31, 2012. As per the company statistics, for the first time, the CNOOC Group recorded annual output exceeding 50 million metric tonnes of oil and gas equivalent.

For full-year 2010, the company estimates production to range between 275 million to 290 million barrels of oil equivalent, up 21%-28% year-over-year. As the South China Sea offers great potential, the company expects to strengthen its deepwater exploration and develop the region's abundant resources. During May 2010, the company announced a $439 million private equity fund along with General Electric ( GE), with each partner holding a 50% stake. The investment would be used for financing projects in several sectors including domestic and global energy projects.

8. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ( RDY) is an integrated pharmaceutical company focusing on global generics, pharmaceutical services, and active ingredients and proprietary products.

On a year-to-date basis, the company soared 52.5%, touching 52-week highs in December. In comparison, counterparts GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA) and Pfizer ( PFE) declined 7.4%, 7.9% and 3.3%, respectively. Industry giant Novartis ( NVS) gained 8.6%.

The company recently signed a licensing, technology transfer, manufacturing and marketing agreement with R-Pharm of Russia, working on a profit-sharing model. During October, the company announced expansion of its products portfolio in the Russian and Ukraine markets through in-licensing deals with companies like Cipla and Vitabiotics. During early 2010, rumors that GSK was planning to acquire a 5% stake in Reddy's for almost $150 million-$160 million were disregarded as unlikely to happen. Furthermore, Dr. Reddy's also denied that it is seeking to sell its Indian formulations business to Pfizer.

During the first half of 2011, Dr. Reddy's is likely to close its deal with GlaxoSmithKline and complete the transfer of GSK's U.S. oral penicillin facility and product portfolio ownership rights. The transfer will likely add $40 million to the company's top line in 2011-2012.

The company is looking for partnerships in order to enter the Japanese generic drugs markets. Japan offers vast opportunities, as the government is keen to make health care more affordable.

Dr. Reddy's is forecasting sales of $1 billion in the U.S. by 2012-2013, up 42% from 2010 levels. The company aims to record $3 billion in revenue by 2013. Besides planning a single launch every year in the low competition/patent challenge segments, Dr. Reddy's has a pipeline of 12 first-to-file opportunities that provide six months exclusivity at launch. The market size of these products is valued at $9 billion.

7. SINA ( SINA) is an online media company operating through five business lines, namely SINA.com, SINA Mobile, SINA Community, SINA.net and SINA E-Commerce.

On a year-to-date basis, the company surged 55.7% to touch 52-week highs in December. In comparison, counterparts like Sohu.com ( SOHU) and Google ( GOOG) gained 12.1% and lost 3.4%, respectively, on year-to-date basis.

For the third quarter, the company posted a 12% year-over-year increase in net revenue, riding on the strong performance of online advertising. During the first three quarters of 2010, SINA ranked third in the online advertising market in China, with an 8.6% share, behind Baidu and Google. During November 2010, Microsoft announced a joint venture with SINA linking its instant messaging service and China's biggest microblogging service. The integration will include migration of Microsoft's blogging service and Windows Live Spaces to Sina's blogging service. This alliance is a part of Microsoft's global move to exit from the blogging business

Looking ahead, the company is likely to gain with the launch of the highly popular microblog service in 2011. Weibo, a microblog similar to Twitter, which allows users to follow other users and view their posts, is likely to launch in 2011. Charles Chao, SINA's chief executive, said the overall advertising market is strong and fourth-quarter guidance relates to only some sectors and does not reflect the overall market. For the fourth quarter, SINA estimates revenues between $103 million and $106 million.

6. Cognizant Technology Solutions ( CTSH) is engaged in providing customized information technology solutions and outsourcing services.

On a year-to-date basis, the company soared 61.2%, touching 52-week highs in December. In comparison, Infosys ( INFY) and Wipro ( WIT) gained 37.1% and 15.3%, respectively, on year-to-date basis.

For the third quarter, the company posted an increase of 43% and 49.1% in revenue and net profit, to $1.21 billion and $204 million, respectively, as compared to the same quarter a year ago. During October, the company signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement with 3M Company ( MMM). With this agreement, Cognizant will leverage its best practices and frameworks in order to reduce the total cost of ownership and ensure high quality and consistency across the 3M portfolio, including mission-critical software. The company announced a joint development program with Microsoft ( MSFT) for delivering cloud-enabled solutions to enterprise customers.

Looking ahead into the fourth quarter, the company expects to record revenue of $1.27 billion. For full-year 2010, Cognizant raised its revenue guidance to $4.55 billion from the earlier estimate of $4.46 billion on diluted earnings per share of $2.35.

The company's board of directors recently authorized a share repurchase program valued almost at $150 million of the company's common stock in the upcoming 12 months. Moreover, the outlook for information technology seems favorable, based on the spending environment in the U.S. and huge cash balances available for IT spending at various companies.

5. Tata Motors ( TTM) is engaged in the manufacture of commercial and passenger vehicles and providing customized financing solutions through its in-house financing arm for Tata vehicles.

On a year-to-date basis, the automobile company gained 69.6%, touching 52-week highs in November. In comparison, U.S. counterparts Ford ( F) gained 67.3% and Toyota ( TM) lost 7.0% on a year-to-date basis.

During the April-November period, cumulative sales were up by 30% to 678,598 vehicles, with Jaguar Land Rover sales increasing by 33%. In June, the company announced it is acquiring an 80% stake in the Italian design and engineering firm Trilix Srl, in a deal valued at Euro 1.85 million. Tata Motors is planning to integrate technologies with Jaguar and Land Rover in order to lower the cost of new engine development by sourcing auto parts from common vendors and thus reap the benefit of economies of scale.

Looking ahead, the company will be raising the prices of most of its passenger vehicles by 1% to 1.5% in January 2011, aiming to offset the rising cost of raw materials. Besides, the company plans to launch two light commercial vehicles Venture and Iris, and start commercial production of its electric car during the first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, Tata Motors foresees a 50% surge in its Ace family light commercial vehicles in 2010, as compared to 2009.

4. China Southern Airlines ( ZNH) is engaged in providing commercial airline services in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

On a year-to-date basis, the airline, with the largest fleet size and highest passenger traffic volumes in China, has accumulated 87.1%, touching 52-week highs in October. In comparison, China Southern's U.S. counterparts Delta Airlines ( DAL) and Southwest Airlines ( LUV) gained 9.7% and 14.4%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

During the first 11 months of 2010, passenger throughput increased 16% year-over-year to 70.51 million, passenger load factor was up by 3.8%, cargo and mail throughput escalated 31.6%. For the third quarter, China Southern's net profit jumped almost 10-fold, benefiting from the recovery in the global travel industry and a strong yuan. During the year, the carrier ordered 20 C919 aircrafts, which will be manufactured in China, six A330s, 30 A320s from Airbus and 10 737s from Boeing ( BA). Of the total aircraft ordered, six A330s will be delivered between 2013 and 2014, while the 30 A320s are scheduled for delivery between 2012 and 2015. Besides, China Southern will be the first Chinese airline to fly Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, which will further improve its competitiveness. Boeing said it would deliver the aircraft in the middle of first-quarter 2011. Earlier in March, the company had planned to raise almost $1.6 billion from a discounted private share issue for which it received regulatory approval in August.

Looking ahead, the airline is seeking to expand its international routes from the current 15% to 30% in the upcoming three years. Moreover, China Southern has announced it will be flying to New Zealand with a thrice-a-week frequency starting April 2011.

3. Melco Crown Entertainment ( MPEL) is the owner, developer and operator of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities focusing on the Macau market. It operates through its subsidiary Melco Crown Gaming. On a year-to-date basis, the company escalated 87.5%, touching 52-week highs in November. In comparison, Melco's U.S. counterparts MGM Resorts International ( MGM) and Nevada Gold and Casinos ( UWN) gained 63.4% and 10.3%, respectively. Century Casinos ( CNTY) lost 10.4% on a year-to-date basis.

During the past 12 months ending November 2010, Melco's sales jumped 165.8%, with the casino operator owning three franchises in Macau. For the third quarter, net revenue scaled up 45% to $727 million from the year-ago period, attributable to improvement in the broader operating performance in Macau. Melco swung to a net profit during the quarter, compared to a net loss earlier.

Industry analysts predict Macau's total revenue will exceed $22 billion for 2010, up from the recently calculated $15 billion. Melco said with its new operating management structure in place since three months ago, tangible results are visible and the focus is on maximizing returns from the portfolio of assets in Macau.

2. Silvercorp Metals ( SVM) is engaged in silver production, with vested interests of more than 75% in seven projects.

On a year-to-date basis, the company gained 93.6%, touching 52-week highs in December. In comparison, Silvercorp's counterparts Pan American Silver ( PAAS) and Hecla Mining ( HL) gained 71.7% and 81.9%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

For the second quarter ending September 30, net income jumped 40.4% year-over-year, attributable to higher sales volumes and prices. Moreover, sales for the quarter escalated 45% during the same period. The average realized selling prices for silver, lead and zinc advanced 33%, 21% and 26%, respectively, from the year-ago period.

Early 2010, the company agreed to pay $15 million to acquire Silvertip, a silver-lead-zinc project in British Columbia, owned by Silver Standard Resources ( SSRI). Besides, Silvercorp acquired a 70% equity interest in China-based Yunxiang Mining, whose primary asset is the BYP gold-lead-zinc mine worth $33 million. The company's silver-lead-zinc project has received a mining permit with a 30-year term and has an initial production capacity of 700 tons per day over the next 12 months. The company recently closed a financing deal by collecting net aggregate proceeds of almost $111 million, led by a syndicate of underwriters. The proceeds would be used for developing the above-mentioned projects.

Looking ahead, the production target for 2011 is approximately 570,000 tonnes of ore and a final output of 5.3 million ounces of silver, 72 million pounds of lead, and 17 million pounds of zinc. Given average metal prices and the projected production figures, Silvercorp's 2011 mining operations will generate revenue above $140 million.

1. Baidu ( BIDU) is a Chinese language Internet search provider operating through its wholly owned subsidiary in China.

On a year-to-date basis, the company has accumulated 140%, touching 52-week highs in November. In comparison, Baidu's U.S. counterparts Google and Yahoo! ( YHOO) shed 3.4% and 2.1%, respectively, on a year-to-date basis.

For the third quarter, Baidu's total revenues were up 76.4%, while net income soared 112.4%. The company made significant inroads, riding on Google's exit from China. Baidu's market share in China during the third quarter increased by 3% to 72.9%, while Google faced a 2.7% decline. After Google's exit, Motorola ( MOT) teamed up with Baidu to provide email, maps and search services to users. Baidu plans to invest around $1.5 million in companies that are involved in Web games and any related activities.

Looking ahead, Baidu's chief executive said the Internet firm is planning to expand overseas, principally in Asian markets. Investments in international markets will likely contribute significantly toward revenue in the next five to 15 years. The company said, despite its foray into e-commerce solutions and online video gaming in 2010, its major focus would be search functions.

>To see these stocks in action, visit the Top 10 Emerging Markets Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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