SINGAPORE (Nov 13): A 84% slump in third quarter net profit is a pretty big headline figure, but investors should look beyond that number and delve into the details of Noble Group's (N21.SG) results to understand what might happen next, Jefferies says in a note.

The research house says last year's figure was boosted by the sale of a stake in Noble Agri, setting the bar high for this year, while the losses in Noble's associates--also driven by Noble Agri--were due to sugar prices that have now begun to rebound in the fourth quarter.

"Contrary to market perceptions, Noble has its liquidity and leverage under control and fears of a significant negative credit event in the company are overdone," Jefferies says, valuing Noble at $1.30 a share with a buy rating.

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