Is Noble heading for the iceberg?

The company's stock and bond prices staged a small recovery late last week. Was it just a dead cat bounce, or a sign the company can weather its liquidity crisis?

The embattled Noble Group saw its equity and bond prices stage a partial recovery late last week after being hit by a crescendo of negative announcements, which began with a profit warning on May 9 and has led all three international credit rating agencies to downgrade the company to distressed status.

Since Noble announced a $125 million first quarter net loss nearly a month ago, analysts and investors have been trying to unpick its opaque black box financials and understand whether it can survive with or without a white knight, or will need to be restructured or liquidated by its new chairman, Paul Brough.

The...

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