3. Vale ( VALE), a metals and mining giant, engages in the production of iron ore and iron ore pellets, manganese ore, ferroalloys, bauxite, alumina and kaolin. It also produces aluminum, copper, coal, potash, cobalt, platinum group metals (PGMs) and other products.

Vale is scheduled to pay the approved distribution of its own capital interest amounting to $2.03 billion or 39 cents per ordinary, or preferred share. The Brazilian mining giant is joining the consortium that will build the $17 billion Belo Monte dam in the Amazon region through a 9% stake in the project. Vale is expected to gain the right to use a share of the estimated 11,200 megawatts of power that the Belo Monte project -- the world's third-largest hydroelectric dam -- will generate.

As part of the move by Brazilian firms to foray into the African market, Vale acquired South Africa-based Metorex, a producer of copper and cobalt with operations in the African copper belt of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, for $1.13 billion. Last year, the company said it expected to boost its copper output by 45% to one million tons by 2015, as part of its plans to diversify from iron ore to other products.

Of the 25 analysts covering the stock, 76% rate it a buy while the remainder rate it a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg have an average price target on the stock of $43.00, implying upside over the next 12 months of 34.1%.

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