SINGAPORE, May 14 (Reuters) - Golden Agri-Resources Ltd jumped as much as 4.7 percent after the company posted a more than two-fold increase in quarterly net profit compared with the preceding quarter.
The company, a palm oil producer in Indonesia, said its net profit in the first three months of the year jumped 176 percent to $113 million from the previous quarter, though it fell 30 percent from a year earlier.
Improvement in the company's China operations, selldown of inventory and lower operating expenses helped offset the seasonally lower production and soft palm oil prices.
OCBC Investment Research upgraded its rating on the shares of the company to "buy" from "hold", with a target price of S$0.63.
"While CPO (crude palm oil) prices may still remain weak in the near term, headwinds appear to be dissipating," OCBC wrote in a note.
Despite the gains, Golden Agri was the worst index performer so far this year with a 15 percent decline, while the index was up nearly 2 percent. Shares were up 3.77 percent at S$0.55 at 0324 GMT.
The Straits Times Index (STI) inched up 0.3 percent to 3,441.83, hovering near a 5-1/2-year high of 3,447.73 hit in the previous session.
First Resources Ltd, another palm oil firm, reported a 29.9 percent jump in its first quarter net profit. Share price rose more than 3 percent to a near one-month high of S$1.81.