10. Mueller Water Industries ( MWA)

Company profile: Mueller, with a market value of $556 million, designs, manufactures, and distributes water infrastructure components such as flow control, and piping component systems for use in drinking and wastewater markets.

Dividend Yield: 2.02%

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 43% this year but have a three-year, average annual loss of 0.63%. Analysts give its shares two "buy" ratings, six "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.

Analysts estimate that it will lose 3 cents per share this year, but turn it around to earn 14 cents per share in 2013.

9. Calgon Carbon ( CCC)

Company profile: Calgon, with a market value of $796 million, provides products and services for purifying water used in the manufacture of food, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, as well as in water treatment, air and water purification, and environmental cleanup.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are down 11% this year and over a three-year period have an average annual decline of 8%. Analysts give its shares five "buy" ratings, and three "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.

8. Watts Water Technologies ( WTS)

Company profile: Watts Water, with a market value of $1.5 billion, makes plumbing products including pressure regulators, relief valves, fittings, drains, filtration systems, and pumps.

Dividend Yield: 1.15%

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 12% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 23%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, nine "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P has it rated "sell" based on "still-challenging global markets, especially in construction, along with our valuation metrics."

7. Itron ( ITRI)

Company profile: Itron, with a market value of $1.7 billion, supplies automated meter reader systems to electric, gas, and water utilities worldwide.

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 22% this year, but have a three-year, average annual decline of 2%. Analysts give its shares eight "buy" ratings, five "buy/holds," 11 holds," and one "sell," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P has a "hold" rating, principally on valuation concerns. Analysts expect it will earn $3.97 per share this year, and that will grow 3% to $4.09 next year.

6. Valmont Industries ( VMI)

Company profile: Valmont, with a market value of $3 billion, manufactures irrigation systems that conserve water and improve food production, as well as pole systems and structural steel tubing, for use in street light poles, traffic signals, high-voltage transmission structures, and communication towers.

Dividend Yield: 0.5%

Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 35% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 26%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, two "buy/holds," and three "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. Analysts estimate it will earn $7.53 per share this year and grow 12% to $8.41 per share in 2013.

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