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16. Silver Wheaton
3-year average
Revenue Growth: 39%
Profit Growth: 51%
Total Return: 31%
Silver Wheaton seems to have found a profit-generating strategy that's solid gold. The precious metals company's business model has enabled it to reap the benefits of high silver prices, while keeping its costs under control. The firm doesn't dig for its own metals. Instead, it pays mines an upfront fee in exchange for the right to purchase, at a fixed price, the silver they produce. As a result, the company is insulated from rising production costs, while still enjoying a windfall from high prices.

Profits skyrocketed 143% last year and operating cash flows jumped by 93%. Production is on the rise, too. Last year saw record-high production of 24 million silver-equivalent ounces. Over the next five years, the company expects that to grow 80%.
Get stock quote: SLW
Revenue ($ millions): $495.6
Net Income ($ millions): $367.7
Industry: Mining
Network with Silver Wheaton
What businesses do you think are primed to grow in this economy?
From the September 26, 2011 issue.
Revenue and profit figures reflect the four quarters ended on or before April 30,2011.
Total return is through June 30, 2011.

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To qualify, a company -- domestic or foreign -- must be trading on a major U.S. stock exchange; file quarterly reports to the SEC; have a minimum market... More
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