The numbers give the spin. 439 million dollars a day, almost a billion euros every two days! Such is the (gigantic) net profit in the first quarter recorded by the oil giant Saudi Aramco. That is a total of 39.5 billion dollars earned between January and the end of March 2022, up 82% compared to the same period in 2021 (21.7 billion dollars). This is a record since the IPO of the world’s largest oil exporter in 2019.
This impressive leap is explained “mainly thanks to higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, and improved margins downstream (refining and distribution, editor’s note)”, indicates the Saudi national hydrocarbon company in a press release published on Sunday May 15.
The oil giant also announced to increase its capital by issuing 20 billion shares distributed free of charge to shareholders, according to the ratio of one share offered for ten held. A dividend of $18.8 billion will be paid in the second quarter, he also said. “Amid heightened volatility in global markets, we remain committed to meeting global demand for reliable, affordable and increasingly sustainable energy,” said Amin Nasser, Chairman and CEO of Aramco.
However, Saudi Aramco faces security challenges related to the war waged by the Saudi-led military coalition against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have repeatedly targeted the kingdom. In March, a Houthi attack on Aramco facilities caused a decline ” temporary “ from production. A situation that had already occurred in 2019.
Largest market cap, ahead of Apple
Saudi Aramco’s results are released less than a week after the company dethroned Apple as the world’s largest market capitalization company. Its capitalization has indeed reached 2.430 billion dollars Wednesday, May 11 according to figures from Bloomberg, against 2.371 billion for the manufacturer of iPhones.
The Aramco share, introduced on the Riyadh Stock Exchange at the end of 2019, had closed at 45.50 Saudi riyals, down 0.98% on the session but up 27% since the start of the year with the rise in prices. crude oil prices which favored energy companies.
Saudi Aramco’s rise to the top of the largest companies valued on the stock market was also made thanks to the plunge in technology stocks which recently affected Apple and all the big names in digital technology. The Nasdaq index has thus lost more than 25% since the beginning of the year in the wake of a change in monetary policy by the American Central Bank (Fed) in the face of inflation and the war in Ukraine.
The oil giant had already had a higher market capitalization than Apple, between its IPO in late 2019 and July 2020.
7.6% growth expected in Saudi Arabia
In March, Armaco announced a 124% rise in net profit in 2021 compared to the previous year, to 110 billion dollars, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. By comparison, TotalEnergies posted a profit of $16 billion last year.
Thanks to these good results of this jewel of the kingdom, essential source of its income, Saudi Arabia reported its strongest growth rate for ten years, the booming oil sector having fueled a rise of 9.6 % in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2021.
Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 7.6% in 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated in April. The kingdom has sought to both open up and diversify its oil-dependent economy, particularly since the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince in 2017.
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