6. Vale ( VALE) is a metals and mining giant producing iron ore and iron ore pellets.

During the first quarter of 2011, the company reported operating revenue of $13.5 billion, increasing 98% year-over-year, while operating income and net profit surged over 250% each to $8 billion and $6.8 billion, respectively. Operating margin increased to 48.9% from 31.2% in the prior year's March quarter.

The proportion of bulk material sales, comprising of iron ore, pellets, manganese ore, ferroalloy, and metallurgical and thermal coal represented 70.3% of the first quarter operating revenues, in line with 71.5% realized during the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales to Asia contributed 49.6% toward total first-quarter revenue, down from 54.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The stock has analysts' buy rating of 84% and an upside potential of 41% over the next one year. Vale is currently trading at 5.9 times its estimated 2012 earnings.

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