Troubled commodity trader Noble Group saw its shares plummet as much as 48.7 percent on Thursday after the company on Wednesday issued a profit warning and plans for asset sales.
The stock tumbled as low as 29.5 Singapore cents, or 22 U.S. cents. At 9:08 a.m. HK/SIN, the stock was down 36.52 percent at S$0.365.
At its peak in 2010, Noble was Asia’s largest commodity trader with a market cap of more than $10 billion. Shares hit an all-time high of 17 Singapore dollars in 2011, but have since fallen as it struggles with the aggressive commodity price decline in recent years.
Noble has been forced to shuffle management, sell down assets and slash costs to boost liquidity. At the same time, its management has been navigating a series of credit downgrades, write-downs and accusations of improper accounting standards — all of which contributed to the dramatic collapse in its share price.
Thursday’s massive drop followed the company’s announcement on Wednesday that it expected to report a loss for the second quarter, citing a continued challenging environment for both the company and the commodity sector.
Noble also posted a loss for the first quarter, which the company said caused “difficulties” in managing and supporting its supply chain and hedging activities as well as hurting the confidence of its lenders and other counter-parties.
“The board believes that the commodities trading industry will continue to face both challenging conditions and realignment as established participants face a low margin trading environment against the backdrop of changing banking and regulatory landscapes and the potential for digital disruption,” it said in the statement.
Noble said it was positioning for continued stress, adding it expected the industry would face difficulty accessing liquidity as lenders cut their exposure to the sector.
The company noted that, as a result of its strategic review, it was in the process of selling its Global Oil Liquids with a short list of potential buyers.
Noble noted that the unit was its “most working capital intensive” operation.
It said it was expecting final bids during the third quarter of 2017, but that it didn’t have a binding agreement yet.
Noble added that it had also struck a deal to sell its Noble Americas Gas & Power subsidiary to Mercuria Energy America for $248 million, expecting the deal to close before the end of the year.
Noble said the two deals would likely allow it to retire two secured revolving credit facilities which totaled $3 billion.
—CNBC’s Dan Murphy contributed to this report.
Source: cnbc china
Once-soaring commodities firm sees shares plummet nearly 50 percent after profit warning