Shares of Singapore's Wilmar gain after Q1 profit rises 23 pct

Shares of Singapore's Wilmar gain after Q1 profit rises 23 pct

SINGAPORE - Shares of Wilmar International Ltd rose as much as 3 per cent in early trade on Wednesday after the Singapore palm oil firm posted a 23 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit, largely due to a recovery in its oilseeds and grains segment.

Wilmar rose as high as S$3.41 on volume of more than 2.8 million shares. It was among the top traded stocks by value in the Singapore market.

Wilmar posted net profit of US$315.4 million (S$388 million) for the three months ended March, up from US$255.9 million a year earlier and above the US$291 million average estimate from four analysts polled by Reuters.

"We still have a 'buy' rating on Wilmar because even though lower crude palm oil prices will affect its plantation division, the consumer pack business should benefit from the lower feedstock prices," said Carey Wong, an analyst at OCBC Investment Research. "We think the downside is limited."

Crude palm oil prices have been weak partly due to high stockpiles in Malaysia and Indonesia but traders expect prices to rebound on easing stocks.

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