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The Week Ahead: Farmers Step Into The Spotlight

StockMarketBoardThe quarterly earnings season carries on apace next week with farmers stepping into the spotlight. No fewer than three companies that make their living from toiling the land will be reporting their latest three-monthly figures.

Vertically-integrated farmer Golden Agri-Resources (SGX: E5H) said in February that its focus for the year is to carry on expanding both organically and also through acquisition. It plans to grow its upstream operation by making use of undeveloped resources. On the downstream side, it plans to exploit its unique position of having its own Crude Palm Oil processing facilities close to other plantations to grow its customer base. Golden Agri-Resources reports first-quarter numbers on Monday.

Hong Kong-based Noble Group (SGX: N21) will report first-quarter numbers on Tuesday. In February, Asia’s largest commodity trader reported a 16% rise in revenues and a 9% rise in profits. However, the company admitted that its 10% return on equity was “not where it wanted to be”. Last year Noble broadened its metal and energy business and was working on opening up new trade routes for Mongolian coal. Its new oilseed crushing plants in Brazil, South Africa and Ukraine were also nearing completion and the company expects them to be in place for a full 2014 season.

Olam International (SGX: O32) will get another opportunity to prove that short-seller, Muddy Waters, was barking up the wrong palm tree when it alleged that the palm oil producer’s financial accounts were somehow suspect. Olam, which will report third-quarter numbers on Wednesday, said in February that revenues for the first six months of the year grew 25% while pre-tax profits were up 8% to S$203m. The company also indicated that it was in the process of “recalibrating” its strategy. We may hear more about the “recalibration” on Wednesday.

Other notable results next week include figures from Thai Beverage Public Company (SGX: Y92) and Singapore Airlines (SGX: C6L). Look out also for quarterly numbers from SIA Engineering, ComfortDelGro and City Developments. 

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