May 4, 2017 / 5:43 AM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Weaker global shares, oil may pull Gulf lower

DUBAI, May 4 (Reuters) - A pull-back in global shares and weaker oil may keep many buyers away from Gulf bourses on Thursday, while a few smaller stocks may react to corporate results.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is down 0.5 percent, taking its cue from a subdued session on Wall Street. Brent oil is down for a third out of four sessions and trading at $50.70 a barrel.

So far investors in regional equities have not been impressed with first-quarter results from many of the major companies in the region. A few have yet to report, including Dubai's Emaar Properties.

NBAD Securities said in a note that Emaar likely improved on the year but not on the quarter, and estimated a first-quarter net profit of 1.26 billion dirhams ($343 million). SICO Bahrain estimates 1.42 billion dirhams and EFG Hermes, 1.35 billion dirhams.

In Saudi Arabia, shares of Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Co may be bid up after it reported full-year net profit of 301.8 million riyals ($80.5 million), up 15.7 percent, though revenue fell 6.3 percent. The company attributed the rise mainly to low soft commodity costs and "careful expense management".

"The company has a healthy cash position with zero leveraging, and a healthy situation for future growth through organic and acquisition strategies," SADAFCO said.

But the board of Saudi Airlines Catering recommended a cash dividend for the first quarter of 1.25 riyals, lower than the 1.75 riyals it distributed a year ago. The company's net profit fell 6.9 percent to 121.4 million riyals, while total revenue decreased 5 percent. (Reporting by Celine Aswad; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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