Shares of commodity trader Noble Group rose as
much as 5.4 percent to an eight-week high after it reported
strong quarterly earnings and several brokerages raised their
target prices on the firm.
By 0111 GMT, Noble shares were 4.9 percent higher at S$1.17,
with 22.2 million shares traded, making it the most actively
traded stock on the exchange.
Noble recorded a 39.3 percent rise in its April-June net
profit, helped by a rise in sales and strong volume growth.
OCBC Investment Research upgraded Noble to 'buy' from 'hold'
and raised its target price to S$1.28 from S$1.21, as it expects
stronger revenue for the year.
Although Noble saw higher volumes and a record tonnage of
107 million in the first half, operating margins were lower,
CIMB Research also raised its target price for Noble to
S$1.46 from S$1.42, and kept its 'outperform' rating, as it
expects its South American grain origination business to benefit
from the U.S. drought.
"Profits will strengthen in the second half as sugar
harvesting peaks," said CIMB in a report, raising its 2012-2014
earnings per share estimates by 1-3 percent.
0912 (0112 GMT)
(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore;