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The best performing stocks in the market are usually the highest growing stocks or the stocks with the highest expected growth rates. This doesn’t mean that one should be invested in growth stocks and stay away from the value stocks at all times. Historically value stocks managed to beat the growth stocks hand over fist. The reason is simple. Value stocks are beaten down stocks with very low or negative growth expectations. Not surprisingly it is easier for these stocks to beat the expectations on the average. On the other hand, everybody is extremely bullish about growth stocks and expect them to have higher growth rates in the future. Their stock prices also reflect this fact. Not surprisingly, it is more difficult for these stocks to beat these challenging expectations.

We ranked the commodity producers based on their expected five-year growth rates. The data source for Wall Street Analysts’ projections is Thomson Financial and industry classifications are obtained from Google Finance. Contrarian investors should look into the stocks that are at the top of the table.

Company

Symbol

Forward PE

Expected 5-Year Growth Rate

Newmont Mining Corporation

NEM

11.3

0.4

Weyerhaeuser Company

WY

23.0

1.3

Sasol Limited

SSL

9.7

1.8

International Paper Company

IP

8.1

2.2

United States Steel Corporation

X

7.8

3.7

Agrium Inc. (NYSE:USA)

AGU

10.4

4.9

International Flavors & Fragrances

IFF

14.1

5.7

The Dow Chemical Company

DOW

9.4

5.7

Celanese Corporation

CE

9.5

6.1

Vale

VALE

5.7

6.6

Eldorado Gold Corporation (USA)

EGO

14.6

6.8

Yamana Gold Inc. (USA)

AUY

10.3

7.0

Ternium SA

TX

7.4

7.1

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (USA)

AEM

17.6

7.2

Eastman Chemical Company

EMN

9.5

7.9

Gerdau SA

GGB

4.4

8.0

Kinross Gold Corporation (USA)

KGC

15.6

8.1

Sigma-Aldrich Corporation

SIAL

16.3

8.6

MeadWestvaco Corp.

MWV

13.3

8.6

Nucor Corporation

NUE

10.3

8.6

POSCO

PKX

8.0

8.7

Ball Corporation

BLL

11.6

8.7

Ashland Inc.

ASH

11.4

8.9

EI du Pont de Nemours

DD

11.3

8.9

FMC Corporation

FMC

12.1

9.4

Lubrizol Corporation

LZ

10.9

9.5

Parker-Hannifin Corporation

PH

11.6

9.5

Precision Castparts Corp.

PCP

15.2

9.6

The Mosaic Company

MOS

11.0

9.7

Rio Tinto plc

RIO

6.8

9.8

Freeport-McMoRan

FCX

7.6

9.8

Teck Resources Limited

TCK

7.6

9.8

PPG Industries, Inc.

PPG

11.8

10.4

Air Products & Chemicals, Inc.

APD

13.9

10.4

Albemarle Corporation

ALB

12.6

10.5

Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (USA)

POT

13.2

10.8

Sociedad Quimica y Minera

SQM

22.6

11.0

Praxair, Inc.

PX

16.2

11.1

Alumina Limited

AWC

11.1

11.4

Airgas, Inc.

ARG

14.4

11.9

CF Industries Holdings, Inc.

CF

10.3

12.5

Compania de Minas Buenaventura

BVN

9.5

12.7

Monsanto Company

MON

19.7

12.7

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional

SID

4.4

12.9

The Timken Company

TKR

9.6

13.2

ArcelorMittal

MT

7.5

13.4

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA)

ABX

9.4

13.7

BHP Billiton plc

BBL

10.6

13.8

Harmony Gold Mining Co.

HMY

13.3

15.3

Southern Copper Corp

SCCO

8.4

15.5

Alcoa Inc.

AA

9.7

16.5

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc

CLF

5.6

26.7

Allegheny Technologies Inc

ATI

12.4

31.0

Goldcorp Inc. (USA)

GG

16.8

36.5

AngloGold Ashanti Limited

AU

9.0

59.8

IAMGOLD Corporation (USA)

IAG

15.3

72.9

Prominent hedge funds are extremely bullish about gold and gold producers. John Paulson, who made $5 billion in 2010 from his hedge fund, prefers Kinross Gold Corp, Anglogold Ashanti, Novagold Resources, Randgold Resources and Barrick Gold Corp. (see the details about Paulson’s gold bets here). Paulson is still extremely bullish about gold but George Soros sold 99% of his holdings in the Gold ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD). He had more than $650 million in GLD at the end of 2010. Gold prices initially declined after Soros’ disclosures but gained all the losses back. Soros also reduced his holdings in Kinross and Novagold (check here for George Soros’ portfolio activity).

Newmont Mining isn’t one of the stocks that Wall Street analysts expect to grow at attractive rates. Given the recent declines in mining companies we like NEM. There are also several hedge funds with bullish bets on Newmont Mining. Steve Cohen’s SAC, Eric Mindich’s Eton Park and Jim Simons’ Renaissance are among the prominent hedge funds with Newmont Mining positions.

One of the most popular bets among hedge funds during the last quarter of 2010 was CF Industries. Hedge funds bet on Potash and CF Industries to take advantage of soaring food prices. Those bets actually paid off. CF returned almost 9% so far in 2011 and POT gained 6.7%, beating the S&P 500 index. Alan Fournier, John Burbank and David Tepper are among the hedge fund managers with large stakes in CF at the end of first quarter (See David Tepper’s top stock picks).

Jim Rogers is also insanely bullish about commodities, saying that commodities will increase no matter what happens in the global economy. The question is whether one should invest in commodity producers with low expected growth or high expected growth.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: I am long physical gold.

Source: Top Commodity Producers With the Highest Upside Potential