Noble Group Ltd., the commodity trader whose accounting has been criticized by research companies including short-seller Muddy Waters, offers stock investors “interesting value,” according to one hedge fund manager.
Dwight Anderson, founder of commodities hedge fund Ospraie Management, named Noble among stocks that may be worth holding.
While “there’s no doubt they were too aggressive on their accounting, it’s a company that relative to its balance-sheet earnings I think is actually a really interesting value,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Stephanie Ruhle at the Commodity Debate conference in New York on Thursday.
Noble said last month it will make its financial reports more transparent while rejecting criticism of its accounting practices.
The company’s shares have fallen 30 percent in Singapore since Iceberg Research issued a report in February questioning the Hong Kong-based trader’s method for booking debt and profit from commodity projects not yet in production. GMT Research Ltd. and Muddy Waters, founded by short-seller Carson Block, added to the criticism.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television at the same New York event on Wednesday, Block described Noble as a “very bad company,” citing a 30 percent drop in first-quarter net income from a year earlier.
Ospraie, once the world’s biggest commodities hedge fund, is based in New York and manages about $800 million. Anderson, 48, started his hedge-fund career working for billionaire Julian Robertson at Tiger Management.