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Noble Group a great buy, likely to see earnings turnaround: Analyst

'Considerable upside to Noble Group': Analyst

Beleaguered commodities trader Noble Group has had a difficult year after claims about its accounting practices hit the stock, but at least one analyst is bullish.

"We see considerable upside at these levels because Noble is one of the leading commodity traders in the world," said Religare Capital Markets' research director, Nirgunan Tiruchelvam.

The steep drop in the company's stock price was a buying opportunity because it was trading at a "massive" discount to its book value, Tiruchelvam told CNBC's "Squawk Box".

S&P downgrades Noble to junk; Fitch keeps investment credit rating

In February 2015, Iceberg Research published a report alleging that the Singapore-listed trader's accounting treatments were "unusual," resulted in "fabricated" profit and "intentionally misleads credit agencies and investors."

Noble has consistently and vehemently denied the allegations but its stock has steadily declined and on Friday was trading around 43 cents a share, down more than 64 percent from a $1.21 peak hit days before the Iceberg report.

Although Iceberg raised serious concerns about the company, those worries have already been priced, Tiruchelvam said.

"The significant change that has taken place over the last year is that Noble's debt has been downgraded to junk status and by virtue of that fact, their financing cost has gone up. But what is surprising is that Noble continues to be able to borrow...Noble is completely financeable despite the change in its status."

Noble investors approve farm unit sale to Cofco

Religare started coverage of Noble in January with a "buy" rating. It now has a target price of 56 Singapore cents (41c) on the stock - 30 percent higher than the current share price.

"Commodities traders like Noble are the lubricants in the commodity world, they provide the service that DHL and FedEx play in the real world," Tiruchelvam said.

"If a commodities trader can generate returns across the cycle despite the difficulties this company has faced in the recent past, we see an earnings turnaround, we see a company that is going to generate significant cash flow and we see a company at a huge discount to its book value."

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