Ticker: BHP
Market cap: $167.5 billion
P/E ratio: 13
Earnings growth*: 3%
Dividend yield: 2.8%

There is no question that the economy will eventually come back, since growth and contraction is cyclical. And when growth returns so will demand for commodities like iron ore, nickel, and coal, which are a vital to the rebound in industrial production that accompanies economic recoveries. BHP Billiton, a large, diversified mining company, digs those building blocks out of the ground, and more. Worried about inflation? This Australian company also mines for gold. Think energy prices are going up? BHP has oil and gas operations, too.

The mining company gets about 20% of its revenues from business with China, a country already showing signs of expansion. And it has more than $9 billion in free cash flow and could use that money to scoop up cheap assets.

* Wall Street average annual earning growth estimates over the next 3-5 years.



Criteria include low price/earnings and price/book ratios relative to competitors, rising profit margins, and accelerating earnings growth. All data related to stock price as of June 1, 2009. P/E ratios based on the previous 12 months' reported earnings. Earnings growth based on Wall Street estimates for the next three to five years.
Last updated November 04 2011: 11:59 AM ET