Noble Group Q1 profit slumps, disclosure levels improve

(Reuters) – Noble Group, under scrutiny for its accounting methods, provided more disclosures about its fair value accounting after reporting a decline in quarterly profit, but the move was unlikely to immediately soothe worried investors. At its earnings call late on Tuesday, Chief Executive Yusuf Alireza gave an upbeat view on the outlook for Asia‘s biggest commodity trader by sales but highlighted challenging conditions in markets including that for energy coal. “We came into the year believing that Noble Group was ideally positioned to benefit from an opportunity-rich environment. Nothing that has occurred in the first four months of this year has shaken this belief,” said Alireza, while answering a volley of questions about Noble’s accounting methods and performance of its associates. The CEO has spent the last few months assuring investors, rating agencies, banks and analysts of the company’s prospects. Noble reported a net profit of $106.6 million in January-March, down from $152.3 million a year earlier. Alireza, a former banker with Goldman Sachs for two decades, took charge three years ago after Noble reported its first quarterly loss in more than a decade. Noble has rejected allegations from Iceberg Research that it had inflated assets by billions of … continue reading

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