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Christopher Langner

Bullies Beware, Noble's Got Some Big Friends

A return to profit, falling debt and potential friends in China should dismay bears.

Noble Group, the Singapore-listed commodity trader, remains a favorite target of short sellers. It's been easy money, too. But as the company and its friends get stronger, bullies may need to look elsewhere.

The stock rose as much as 8.7 percent Tuesday morning, before erasing the gain, after Noble posted net profit of $8.2 million for 2016, compared with a loss of $1.7 billion the previous year. The rally came less than a week after the stock dropped 16.7 percent, when investors were spooked by a report that reiterated some old accounting questions (mostly answered in the past).