(Corrects year to date gain for Noble Group to 2.7 pct from 2.2 pct)
Several brokers upgraded their ratings on Noble Group Ltd , citing an improved outlook after the Singapore-listed commodities company posted its first-quarter results.
Noble shares were down 0.9 percent at S$1.16 at 0236 GMT, but have gained 2.7 percent so far this year.
CIMB Research said a strong rebound in Noble's energy and metals, minerals and ores segment more than offset seasonal weakness from its agricultural division in its first quarter.
Noble will be a beneficiary of improving economies and new Chief Executive Yusuf Alireza brings a renewed focus on profits, CIMB added. It upgraded Noble to "outperform" from "trading buy" and raised its price target to S$1.42 from S$1.40.
DMG & Partners Securities said it was positive on Noble on the back of increased confidence in its earnings outlook, stronger performance from sugar with the April-December production cycle and potentially better crushing margins in China.
The broker upgraded Noble to "buy" from "neutral" and lifted its price target to S$1.60 from S$1.30.
Noble posted a 46 percent fall in first-quarter net profit on Thursday, dragged down by losses on supply chain assets.
1027 (0227 GMT)
(Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Singapore; Editing by Chris Lewis; firstname.lastname@example.org)